MEDFORD, Ore. – Police say scammers are trying to profit off the disappearance of Kyron Horman.
Medford Police said they have received a report of scammers using phone calls to ask for money for a Kyron Horman search fund. The boy’s family said it is not a family-approved fundraiser and police are investigating it as a scam.
Seven-year-old Kyron disappeared from his elementary school in Portland in June 2010, and police have not been able to find any clues as to his whereabouts. Several funds have been established since then to help the family and law enforcement, but the family said this call was not one of them.
“Unfortunately all they need to do is go online and Google and they can get a lot of information that way,” said Desiree Young, Kyron’s mother, who lives in Medford. “And then they use that to call other people and try to make it sound like it’s legitimate.”
Young said she has seen several attempts by others to cash in on Kyron’s disappearance, with this apparent phone scam being the latest one. She is urging people to be aware that the calls are not coming from a family-approved charity.
“It’s extremely disappointing and unfortunately it’s not the first time we’ve had to cope with this,” Young said.
Young said there are three charities approved to help Kyron’s family and the law enforcement search effort: “Justice for Kyron,” which was set up by Young to help in the civil case against Kyron’s stepmother Terri Horman, who has not been named a suspect but who Young believes has information on the disappearance; “Bring Kyron Home” established by Kyron’s biological father Kaine Horman to keep Kyron’s face in the public eye; and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Kyron Horman fund, which helps pay for the search effort.
Sgt. Brent Mak of Medford Police said called the scam “despicable.” He said all missing persons cases are personal for officers, but because Kyron’s father is a Medford detective, his story especially hits home. Mak said anyone who receives the phone call should pass along the phone number and any other information to police.