Search For Missing Oregon 7-Year-Old Centers on Portland Metro Area

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Investigators have limited the search for a missing 7-year-old Portland boy to the city's metro area, despite tips from as far away as Washington state, a sheriff's spokesman said Tuesday.

Kyron Horman disappeared Friday after a science fair at the rural Skyline Elementary School.

Kyron is still being considered a "missing endangered child," Multnomah County sheriff's Capt. Jason Gates said at a news conference, adding the disappearance is not being investigated as a criminal matter.

"We're not prepared to call it a criminal investigation at this point," Gates said. It would be considered a crime "when we have elements or specific information about this case that would lead us in a direction where there are crimes that can be defined."

The search has been difficult in the dense, hilly terrain near the school. At least one person was injured Monday on an embankment near a rural road and had to be transported by ambulance. Gates declined to elaborate on the injury.

Kyron was last seen about 9 a.m. Friday, shortly after the boy and his stepmother attended a science fair at the school. She has told police that she last saw him walking down a hallway toward his second-grade classroom, wearing a "CSI" T-shirt and dark cargo pants.

A search began after classes let out and Kyron didn't come home on the bus. His stepmother called 911 about 3:45 p.m., and sheriff's deputies and K-9 units began a search of the school and the two-mile route to his home.

The disappearance did not trigger an Amber Alert, Gates said, because police didn't have the necessary criteria to issue one. Amber Alerts typically require that an abduction is confirmed.

Gates said he hopes to have the search concluded by the end of the week but said the sheriff's office would "continue this investigation until there's a resolution."

Search-and-rescue teams are rechecking areas they searched during the weekend, Gates said.

"I'm certainly not giving up hope," Gates said. "Stranger things have happened."

Gates said nearly all of the students at the school have been interviewed, as well as the majority of the faculty and staff.

Skyline Elementary Principal Ben Keefer said Tuesday that 45 of the school's approximately 300 students were absent from school on Monday and 38 failed to show up on Tuesday, about twice the number of the school's typical absences.

Families need not take extra precautions with their children and the disappearance did not appear to be part of a pattern, Gates said Tuesday.

"We have no reason to believe this is anything but an isolated case," he said.

Kyron's family is working on a public statement, Gates said, in addition to one released on Monday night by Kelly Ramirez, the sister of Kyron's mother, which thanked those who were searching for the boy and implored people to print and distribute fliers with his photo.

A member of the sheriff's office is with the family at all times, Gates said, adding the search effort is approaching the largest ever conducted by the county.

Twenty-two state, local and federal agencies have been following up on more than 1,200 tips in the search for Kyron.


Tip line: 503-261-2847