Evidence unearthed in the search for DeOrr Kunz, Jr. may yield new clues in his disappearance. The Idaho toddler went missing last July at Timber Creek Campground near Leadore.
Lemhi County Sheriff Chief Deputy Steve Penner tells East Idaho News the evidence was collected during a 3-day search of Timber Creek Campground.
Several federal and state agencies, along with rescue teams, participated in the extensive search with the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office.
New information, evidence discovered in campground search for DeOrr Kunz Jr. https://t.co/qTHE5Nx8LN
— East Idaho News (@EastIDNews) May 23, 2016
“Evidence and information gathered during the course of the search will be analyzed and used to drive the investigation forward and assist in the planning of future searches,” Penner says.
Neither Penner nor authorities have disclosed what the evidence consists of and why they’re attributing it to DeOrr Kunz, Jr. KBOI reports that the evidence will be examined at a lab.
What’s known about the search where evidence came to light, is that the the campground located in the Salmon-Challis National Forest was closed off to the public in mid-April by the sheriff’s office and U.S. Forest Service while search crews continued their investigation.
DeOrr was last seen on July 10 while with his parents, great-grandfather, and a family friend. No signs of the 3-year-old boy have surfaced since he went missing. Local investigators believe DeOrr was either accidentally or intentionally killed.
While no charges have been filed against anyone, the boy’s parents — Vernal DeOrr Kunz and Jessica Mitchell — are considered suspects.
— KTVB.COM (@KTVB) January 25, 2016
Back in January, Lemhi County Sheriff Lynn Bowerman told KTVB 7 News that the child’s parents have been “less than truthful” since the investigation began into the missing Idaho toddler’s case. Bowerman said that DeOrr’s parents have “refused to give us any further information to clear up the untruthfulness and they’ve changed their story on numerous occasions.”
Bowerman at the time said he’d met with prosecutors, the FBI, and the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office to build a solid case before bringing any charges against the parents. He also didn’t want to do so in the event that DeOrr was found.
KSL reports that Mitchell and Kunz, Sr. kept changing their statements in regards to where they were and what movements they made at the time of their son’s disappearance. Bowerman revealed that their statements didn’t match. It was frustrating for everyone because they didn’t know where the child was. There were inconsistencies that made it hard to decipher the truth from everything the pair have told investigators.
Certain aspects of Mitchell and Kunz’s polygraph tests have come back inconclusive regarding what happened to DeOrr.
Bowerman brought up that there were a lot of inaccuracies and numerous gaps in stories the toddler’s parents were giving. He said that Mitchell and Kunz, Sr. are “cooperating, but are you really cooperating if you’re being less than truthful?”
It’s also noted by Bowerman that Robert Walton and Isaac Reinwand aren’t cleared in the case, but the focus is on Jessica Mitchell and DeOrr Kunz, Sr.
The next questions is, when will the public find out what evidence searchers uncovered in this missing Idaho toddler’s case? For months investigators have scoured the campground where he was last seen. Several stories have cropped up in what’s been almost a year now.
Before it was discovered that DeOrr Kunz’s parents were named as unofficial suspects, the family hired Klein Investigations and Consulting. The firm claimed they had no reason to believe that the toddler was killed by a wild animal or was abducted, as one theory suggested.
[Image via DeOrr Kunz, Jr’s Voice/Facebook]