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Exclusive interview: Desiree Young talks about her missing son Kyron Horman

Desiree Young
Mother Desiree Young has to deal with an unimaginable pain on Little Boy Lost: An ID Mystery. Pic credit: ID

Investigation Discovery’s fifth installment of Nine at 9 is titled Little Boy Lost: An ID Mystery, and it examines the most frightening scenario any parent can face: The possible abduction and vanishing of their child.

Monsters and Critics interviewed Kyron Horman’s mother, Desiree Young, who appears on the episode to share her deeply moving story that is far from over.

On Little Boy Lost: An ID Mystery, the story of Kyron Horman’s disappearance and the last day he was seen is painstakingly examined.

And what we come to find out is that detectives working the case have not enough evidence to bring anyone to trial as of this date.

This does not mean that there wasn’t a person of interest. Or isn’t, as Kyron’s mother Desiree told Monsters & Critics exclusively that this is not a cold case, but an active and ongoing open investigation, despite the amount of time passed.

During the documentary, you will see conflicting stories and possible timeline discrepancies that some think point to Kyron’s stepmother, Terri, as a person of interest.

Terri was never charged formally or brought to a criminal trial.  The civil suit brought by Desiree Young was dropped once the realities of the inadequate evidence were made clear.

In the documentary, we learn that Kyron was a sweet, bright child who loved red-eyed tree frogs and learning in school. His shock disappearance has left Desiree with a determination to hunt down her son’s abductor and find her son alive—which she knows is unlikely—or to find where his remains are so that he be laid to rest by his loving family.

How did Kyron Horman just vanish without a trace?

As part of the Nine at 9 ongoing series, Monsters & Critics spoke with Desiree Young about this disturbing case on the 10th anniversary of his disappearance of Kyron, which is sadly upon us this June 4.

Monsters & Critics: You worked with John Walsh previously on In Pursuit with John Walsh for ID, and I wanted to ask you about that as well. How did that go, and did you meet John Walsh Walsh and talk to him?

Desiree Young: Yes. And actually, I was introduced to him before. He had heard that I used to work for The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which John and Reve Walsh began after their son Adam went missing.  I also participated in the Team Hope program, where I provided support to parents of other missing children.

So John Walsh was obviously a key component of that and, of course, meeting him.

M&C: Are you still in touch with John Walsh?

Desiree: Yes, He’s never too far away.

M&C: That’s good to hear. How do you and the producers avoid legal issues with Kyron’s stepmother and Kaine’s ex-wife Terri? 

Desiree: Well, I made that decision starting with day one. And I say, ‘bring it on.’ She wants to try and doing anything; she is welcome to do it, but she will have to talk to prove her point, and that’s not going to happen.

So it’s a matter of, this is my opinion, and I have the freedom of speech as well. She’s not going to do anything.

M&C: In your situation, I think the word closure is futile, there’s no such thing. You have this grief energy, have you channeled it in a healthy way? With activism and I know you worked on a book with Rebecca Morris, Talk about that because a lot of people reading this article that maybe have lost a child want to know, where do you put that grief? Can you just talk about your process?

Desiree: Exactly. Yes. The last ten years, I got counseling. I’ve tried to focus my energy in the areas where I feel I can help other people with my experience. If I can help someone, and they might be going through a similar situation, then this hasn’t all been for nothing. Right?

I would like to be able to provide that knowledge, and if I’m a parent of a missing child who is currently struggling, and maybe they pick up the book, and they start reading about it, and they learn some tips or some information that I can provide. That is super helpful because everybody struggles through this situation. It’s not something that comes with a rule book.

Nobody knows what to do. Sometimes you have some of that knowledge to help them go through the same or similar situation. But honestly, it was something that I figured out as I went it, it wasn’t something that came natural.

It was challenging for me. I still struggle with it.

M&C: How important has your husband, Detective Tony Young’s support and his love and his being there for you to weather all of this?

Desiree: Well, it’s been huge. He has coping skills that I can’t even begin to touch. It is amazing the things that he can do. And I have relied upon that heavily over the last ten years. He just has a way with it all and can pick up when I’m having a rough day.

When you’re in a relationship with somebody, you lean on each other in the areas that you have strengths. That’s where he shines, and it has helped tremendously. And sometimes it’s even just the basics. ‘Listen, honey, I know you’re having a rough day, but you’ve got to get up. You got to eat, got a shower.’.

M&C: What about your relationship with Kyron’s dad Kaine, how has that evolved through this?

Desiree: It’s changed. I would say that learning some of the stuff from the case has stressed our relationship. I still don’t communicate with him. Aside from her being on the Dr. Phil show, which was a complete surprise to me.

I just haven’t communicated with him. I really struggle with some of the things that we found out was going on in the house and the decisions that were made at that time, we didn’t learn from him telling us, it was from the media.

I don’t like being blindsided with stuff like that. I felt like that was a conversation he should have had with us. And so it’s a struggle to be a team when you feel like the other side isn’t coming to the table with everything. And so yes, it is stressed.

M&C: How did you connect with Rebecca Morris and collaborated with her on the book, Boy Missing?

Desiree: I actually got connected from her through a letter that I had received. She had, back in the day, issued. I might be misspeaking, so I apologize. But it wasn’t like a chapter regarding Kyron’s case, but it was about the media coverage, and it was just a short little blip.

So I knew of her name but did not really connect with her until about three years ago. I had received a letter from her, and it was crazy because the timing was perfect.

I was actually looking to write a book and had already started my own book, when she reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, maybe we could help each other out.’

M&C: What is the status of Kyron’s case? Is it a cold case? Is it an open case being investigated with new evidence? 

Desiree: It is not a cold case. It’s a continuing case that is open and active. And we are investigating leads and waiting to do searches after COVID-19 restrictions lift.

M&C: Do you feel that the school should have alerted you or Kaine as to Kyron being pulled out of school? Do you put some blame on the way that they handled managing the child’s whereabouts?

Desiree: Well, I want to be clear. I do not blame the school for Kyron’s disappearance.

M&C: Do you feel that there should be defined pick up protocol for children going forward?

Desiree: Yes, absolutely. I believe that the school and the state of Oregon has a practice now in place, because of Kyron going missing. And I think that that’s super important.

If your child is not in roll-call, you need to know about it and right away. I think that that is a huge step in the right direction.

I also have spoken at law enforcement events regarding that it is critical. Children have to be protected. If there were cameras in the school that day, we would not be here, and that is a reality.

I absolutely feel that we should have eyes on all of our children in all of our schools. I know that that does not answer the funding piece, and I know that that’s a struggle for schools, but that should absolutely be a priority. We have more security at the corner market on our beer than we do our children.

And that is very upsetting to me. But I do not hold Skyline [school] responsible for Kyron.

M&C: When did that realization for you in your heart where you felt, Hmm, Terri? When did that first happen for you?

Desiree: Well, it was piece by piece, but basically that gut feeling in my stomach when I called her on June 4th, that was the first piece where I started going, Oh no, she is involved somehow or another.

It was my phone call with her. In my interaction with her, it was all of her lies about the school that day and her contradictions. That was the first feeling that I got in the pit of my stomach, that she was involved, and every single action or word out of her mouth reinforced it after that.

M&C: Do you feel that the police and the detectives working, in this case, will eventually have a person of interest arrested? Will have a trial? Do you feel that this day will come for you?

Desiree: I believe that there’s a plan in place that none of us have control over, and I believe that fate steps in. I’ve seen it with my husband’s cases. It always happens.

The criminals did not get away with it. They think they might, but it never happens. It might be 30 years down the road, but even that, I believe that Terri will be held accountable in some way, shape, or form.

Little Boy Lost: An ID Mystery airs Friday, May 29 from 9-10 p.m. ET on Investigation Discovery.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
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