Twist in case of missing two-year-old DeOrr Kunz Jr as parents named suspects
By Andrew Koubaridis
8 February 2016
Toddler DeOrr Kunz has not been seen since going missing from a campsite at Idaho Falls on July 10 last year.
Anguish ... The parents of DeOrr Kunz speak to media.
THE tears look real. So does the pain on their faces. But is this couple hiding a terrible secret?
Jessica Mitchell and DeOrr Kunz Sr have been in the international spotlight ever since their little boy, DeOrr Kunz Jr, vanished from a remote campsite in Idaho on July 10 last year.
They have given interviews, launched appeals and openly begged members of the public to come forward with information.
“Who would harm us this way?” the missing toddler’s mother asked. “Especially knowing how much he means to us. He’s everything to us,” she told the local East Idaho News.
“If somebody has him please don’t hurt him. Just bring him home safely where he belongs.”
They spoke a lot. Not just to media, but to police. Unsurprising, given their two-year-old son was missing, but then police noticed their versions of events began to change.
With suspicions mounting, police asked them to do lie-detector tests and this week revealed the couple had been “less than truthful”.
It isn’t the first time the parents have been accused. On the internet, amateur sleuths have speculated that Ms Williams didn’t appear to be mourning enough, and in their community rumours have swirled the couple were somehow responsible for DeOrr Jnr’s disappearance.
Speculation of this kind is not that out of the ordinary. In fact, it seems almost predictable in cases like this.
Then the bombshell.
“They’re not able to tell the same story twice because they’ve told so many stories,” County Sheriff Lynn Bowerman told KTVB-TV. “We’re getting changes in the stories all the time.”
Sheriff Bowerman then said police believed the couple knew what happened to their son, and named them as suspects.
There has been a flurry of activity in recent days. Detectives have re-interviewed the parents and other witnesses and FBI investigators have also joined local police as they try to bring an end to the seven-month mystery.
No clothing or blood has been found and the parents have co-operated fully throughout the inquiry.
Despite the behind the scenes work — which exploded into the public eye with Sheriff Bowerman’s startling comments — it doesn’t seem likely any arrests are imminent.
The New York Daily News reported police were focusing on finding DeOrr. The parents say they last saw him when they left him with his maternal grandfather and a friend to go on a walk.
The grandfather thought he was with his parents — meaning there is a 20-minute window for whatever happened to DeOrr to have taken place.
“We decided we were gonna do a little exploring,” Mr Kunz Sr told reporters. “It’s such a small area — that’s what a lot of people don’t understand. They just assume, ‘How could you let your kid out of your sight?’ Well, this area is pretty well blocked in and there’s no way you couldn’t not see him.”
DeOrr Kunz, pictured with mum Jessica Mitchell.
His partner was adamant she knew what happened to her son. She believed he had been abducted.
“He doesn’t go anywhere without his blanket, his cup or his monkey. All three of them were left at the campground.”
There has been little privacy for the family since then, as their every move has been studied by the public and police.
Last month, Mr Kunz Snr took to Facebook to share his despair.
“Six months since he stood next a picnic table and I heard his little voice and that was the last moment my life went from great to upside down … that little boy taught me how to be a man to love and care and happiness I miss my son every minute of everyday. I just want my amazing son back and my great life to continue daddy misses and loves you goobs,” he wrote.
The family hired Texas-based Klein Investigations and Consulting to investigate what happened. In a recent report, the private investigators said they ruled out on theory — that of a wild animal attack — and abduction.
But they did not rule out an accidental death or “death with intent”. In short, there was very little they could say with certainty other than DeOrr was dead.
“We’ve reconstructed this case from the ground up,” CEO Philip Klein said. “We’ve concluded this: it didn’t just pop out of the air.”
So where is he then?
Reports from Ms Williams and others about the sighting of a mystery black jeep were dismissed by Mr Klein as a distraction.
A complicating factor is the family friend, Isaac Reinwand, who was with the grandfather at the time DeOrr was last seen. He won’t be interviewed by the private investigators and has hired a lawyer to represent him.
“He is very important in this case. We need to interview Isaac, we believe he has info that will help this case,” he told the Post Register.
Not everyone is happy with the parents being named as suspects. DeOrr Kunz shares the same last name as his son and grandson and has told of his anger at police for directing their energy at his family.
“Losing a baby is enough to tear anybody apart,” the 70-year-old told People. “The browbeating that they’ve been going through with the law enforcement is too much.”
He accused police of just wanting the case “to go away”.
That might be wishful thinking, because until DeOrr is found there will be a lot more scrutiny on this mother and father.http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/twist-in-case-of-missing-twoyearold-deorr-kunz-jr-as-parents-named-suspects/news-story/2bdcd8daafeb4d338d92f21a6ca53eb3?utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_source=News.com.au&utm_medium=Facebook#itm=newscomau