It has been over ten years since seven year-old Kyron Hormon was last seen. He disappeared on June 4, 2010, and was last seen at his school’s science fair. Kyron’s disappearance has been the subject of journalistic investigations, talk shows, and the largest criminal investigation in the history of the state of Oregon. His face is one of the most recognizable on the growing list of missing children who have still not been found.
At the time of his disappearance, Kryon’s parents, Kaine and Desiree Horman had been divorced for almost ten years. They had shared equal custody until Desiree was diagnosed with kidney failure that prompted medical intervention from the state, giving Kaine full custody. Despite having full custody, Kaine still heavily included Desiree in Kryon’s life.
In 2007, Kaine married Kryon’s stepmother, Terri Moulton. Moulton was reportedly the last person to see Kryon on the day he disappeared. Moulton took Kyron to school that day for his school’s science fair and attended the science fair with him. When it was time for school to start, Moulton left the school and reported that she saw Kryon walking towards his first class. One of the most curious inconsistencies in the case was that despite Moulton reported she saw him headed to class, Kryon was marked absent for that day of school. Law enforcement can confirm that Kryon was at the science fair that morning, because Moulton took a picture of Kyron in front of his project—the famous photo seen around the country when the search for Kyron was launched.
Moulton was able to account for her movements for most of the day, reportedly doing errands and caring for her daughter who had an earache. It wasn’t until Kryon’s father, Kaine, and Moulton walked to the bus stop to get Kyron when he got off the bus that afternoon. When Kryon did not get off the bus, the worried parents contacted his school to ask about his whereabouts. When they could not confirm that Kyron had been in that school that day, the authorities were contacted.
The extensive search for Kyron spanned over ten days and included a thorough ground search of the area surrounding Kryon’s school. By July of 2010, the reward posted for information leading to Kyorn’s safe return was up to $50,000. Despite the large reward, no arrest has ever been made in Kyron’s disappearance. The investigation did however yield several interesting pieces of evidence. Law enforcement was told by Kyron’s father that Moulton had offered their landscaper money to kill him, and subsequently conspired with him to kidnap and kill Kyron. However, police were never able to gather enough evidence to charge Moulton with Kryon’s disappearance.
Kyron would be 18 years old in 2020. When he was last seen, he had brown hair, blue eyes, and wore eyeglasses. If you have any information concerning this case, please contact the local tip line at (503) 261-2847, or your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.
Adults have the right to go missing, but do they have the right to go missing under suspicious circumstances? This is a question Alicia Gazotti has been asking herself for nearly a month since she stopped hearing from her daughter Mercedes Clement. Since the disappearance of her daughter, Gazotti has been pursing every possible avenue to get answers for her family. While investigators, family, and friends do their part to search for Mercedes, Gazotti is left wondering what circumstances must have befallen her daughter.
Mercedes Clement, 25, was last seen on October 11, 2020 around 11:00 in the evening, going into the apartment of an acquaintance on Empire Drive in Dallas, Texas. Mercedes was observed on surveillance footage entering the apartment of a male acquaintance. Due to a technical glitch, surveillance was not recorded between 1:30 am and 8am. It wasn’t until she stopped responding to phone calls and text messages that Alicia Gazotti and her family became worried. Mercedes’ car was found abandoned two days later, with her personal effects, including her wallet and keys, sitting on the front seat. It’s a piece of evidence that deeply troubles Gazotti. “This isn’t like all of the sudden she went to a friend’s house and no one can find her,” Gazotti told Lauth. “This is a girl who vanished into thin air. Cell phone’s gone, girl is gone. The car’s been abandoned. This is a different situation.”
When it comes to missing adults, law enforcement has an unfortunate challenge in terms of distributing investigators and resources. After all, persons over the age of 18 have the right to disappear, if they wish. However, it is unclear to Mercedes’ family why she would voluntarily drop off the grid. Gazotti told Lauth that Mercedes had completed her phlebotomy degree and was looking forward to taking additional courses to get more certifications. She had friends and hobbies she enjoyed, like horseback riding. In addition to parents and extended family concerned for her health and safety, Mercedes is also a young mother to a 5-year-old son. While it’s true that some missing adults have made the conscious decision to disappear from their former lives, Gazotti knew that Mercedes would never just disappear and leave behind her child, “She’s a mom. She just missed Halloween. She never misses holidays with her son.”
While Mercedes has experienced difficulties with mental health issues in the past, Gazotti told investigators that in the weeks prior to her disappearance, Mercedes was making plans for the future, both within her family and with friends. “She has a pair of friends who are expecting a newborn baby, and for the last few weeks, she’s been posting all over Facebook that she was looking for a good car seat for them, and she was so excited to give them that gift after the baby was born.”
Mercedes Clement is 5’6”, brown hair, brown eyes, and weighs 120 lbs. She has a C-shaped birthmark on her chin resembling a bruise. She has a thin build and was last seen wearing a black, spaghetti-strap tank top and shorts. Anyone with information can call the Dallas Police Department at 214-671-4268 with report number 191586-2020. You can also call the Lauth confidential tip line at 830-253-4070.
When a loved one goes missing in the United States, their families file a missing person report in good faith that local law enforcement will conduct a thorough investigation into their disappearance. Concurrent with the investigation, family and loved ones conduct their own information campaign, keeping their missing loved one’s face in the media to increase the likelihood of their being found. However, when a person goes missing in Mexico, families and friends might not have recourse from the American government.
American investigative bodies do not have jurisdiction in Mexico. When Americans go missing in Mexico, the FBI is only able to assist Mexican law enforcement in searching for the missing person. The Los Angeles Times covered the story of a missing man named Francisco Aguilar, an American citizen and firefighter. Aguilar was last heard from in an WhatsApp message from his Rosarito beach home. Aguilar’s ex-wife, Karla Izquierdo, remarked on how difficult it has been for her family in the wake of Aguilar’s disappearance, “This is a living nightmare. Since this happened, we’ve been meeting all these families in Mexico who have also been searching for their loved ones for years and have been left without answers.” Despite filing a missing person report, Izquierdo said it was weeks before investigators in Mexican law enforcement seriously looked into what has been called Aguilar’s “forced disappearance,” leading to hundreds of hours of lost time and case progression.
The Baja California Police Department has come to the defense of the Mexican authorities, stating that Aguilar’s disappearance was thoroughly investigated, particularly because there was immediate evidence of foul play at his Rosarita home, including missing property and blood found inside the home. Two people were arrested in Aguilar’s disappearance after being found in possession of his credit cards. A former San Diego police sergeant by the name of Oscar Armenta vouched for the Mexican authorities, “I can personally tell you they’re outstanding at investigations. They’re really good at boots on the ground, with the limited resources and the other challenges they face.”
When a loved one goes missing in Mexico, Americans usually begin their due-diligence inside the United States by filing a missing person report. Anyone can file a missing person report in the United States for a loved one who disappeared outside of the country—however, American authorities realizing they have no jurisdiction in the area will advise “if you think your loved one is in Mexico, go to Mexico.”
Americans who go missing in Mexico typically—either by design or by happenstance—have run afoul of illegal activity south of the border. Criminals in Mexico do not kidnap Americans for the sake of doing so. Missing Americans in Mexico typically draw a lot of attention from both media and law enforcement that make operating a criminal empire more difficult. Without recourse from other law enforcement agencies, there are families who follow their scant advice and travel south of the border in search of their loved one missing in Mexico, despite the fact that they also run the risk of coming to harm.
Not all families are equipped to drop their entire lives to search for a missing loved one. Even fewer are able to make it down to Mexico to conduct a proper search. That’s why many families turn to the expertise of Lauth Investigations International and their team of private investigators to find answers in the case of their missing loved one. A private investigator can be the ideal professional to conduct a missing person search in tandem with law enforcement. Private investigators are independent from law enforcement and are not bound by any jurisdictional restrictions. This means no time is lost in looking for the missing person. Private investigators have a diverse tool chest of skills that allow them to turn over every rock in Mexico in search of a missing person. Because they’re not law enforcement, witnesses are more comfortable opening up to private investigators, giving them necessary information needed for case progression. Lauth’s private investigators have previously worked with the FBI, Interpol, and other agencies to recover missing persons from throughout the globe. If your loved one has gone missing, call Lauth Investigations International at 317-951-1100.
A Woodland Hills family is breathing a sigh of relief this week since the recovery of a mother who had been missing for almost two weeks. Holly Courtier, 38, was found alive October 18 in Zion National Park in Utah following an extensive search by friends, family, and law enforcement. Holly Courtier had arrived in the area of the park on October 6 by virtue of a private shuttle bus that was meant to pick her up from the park the same day. She did not make the return trip in the shuttle bus however. Park rangers were able to locate her after they received “a credible tip from a park visitor that they had seen Courtier within the park.” While the circumstances of her disappearance still remain murky, her family is overjoyed to have her back. Courtier’s family expressed their gratitude in a statement, “We would like to thank the rangers and search teams who relentlessly looked for her day and night and never gave up hope. We are also so grateful to the countless volunteers who were generous with their time, resources, and support.”
Courtier’s story is not an isolated incident by any means. People go missing in national parks every year. When a person goes missing in a national park, the disappearance is usually attributed to the missing person having ran afoul of nature or misadventure, a non-human element that has caused them to come to harm and are unable to call for help. Data surrounding the exact amount of people who have disappeared in our national parks system is unreliable or inaccurate, depending on the source, because the government does not invest in resources for tracking these incidents. In the case of Holly Courtier, if she had not been located, her disappearance may have never entered a database. Courtier’s family may have had to settle for an educated guess by law enforcement that she was attacked by a wild animal. Courtier was luckily seen by another person visiting the park, leading to her safe recovery. The disappearances of persons in national parks over the years have concluded more favorably in recent years with improvements in technology and the amount of resources available to aid in searches in national parks. For Holly Courtier’s family, they now have the answers they need and their loved one back in their embrace.
A nervous, home-bound American population is not shy about how obsessed they are with Netflix’s true-crime docuseries, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. The nation is enthralled with the story of Joe Exotic, the owner of the infamous G.W. Zoo in Oklahoma and his personal and professional drama with other big cat owners in the wildlife community. Joe Exotic’s story, full of twists and turns, brings the viewer’s focus to big cat sanctuary owner, Carole Baskin, his self-declared arch-nemesis. While the documentary has viewers feverishly binging the series, it’s also left viewers with a lot of questions about Carole Baskin’s second husband, Don Lewis, whose 1997 disappearance has never been solved.
From his platform as the subject of the documentary and through his YouTube reality show about his zoo, Joe Exotic is too excited to direct fans to the alleged bad acts of Carole Baskin, owner of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. Among a litany of accusations towards Baskin, the one that really had fans arching an eyebrow was the accusation that Carole Baskin was responsible for the disappearance of her second husband, Don Lewis, and covered up his death by feeding his remains to the tigers in the sanctuary. In a time where missing person cases are receiving less attention because of COVID-19 coverage, law enforcement and armchair detectives alike are taking a deeper dive into this cold 1997 missing persons case.
The third episode of the series examines the facts of Don Lewis’s missing person case, documenting his alleged history of womanizing and leading a second life with a girlfriend in Costa Rica. To camera, Carole describes a marriage that at its best was mutually beneficial, and at its worst was insufferable, “Don was not easy to live with and like most couples, we had our moments.” She described a pattern of erratic behavior, which she retroactively attributes to the possibility that Don was suffering from deteriorating mental capacity, possibly from Alzheimer’s. She was also able to confirm after his disappearance that he was being treated for bipolar disorder when she found a prescription for it in their home. It was well-known that Don Lewis was worth millions—although reports of how many millions differs depending on the talking head. Alternate theories of his disappearance have included that he used his vast wealth to disappear to Costa Rica to live with one of his extramarital partners.
Carole Baskin is not the only subject in the docuseries who is revolted by how she is portrayed, and like the others, she took to social media to defend herself as the film started to receive a wave of backlash. In a long media post after the docuseries’ release, Baskin vehemently denied once again that she ever played a part in Don Lewis’ disappearance, citing particular dissatisfaction that the docuseries perpetuated the ‘rumor’ that she had fed her husband’s remains to the tigers in the sanctuary, “The meat grinder shown in the video was enormous. Our meat grinder was one of those little table-top, hand crank things, like you’d have in your kitchen at home.” Baskin went on to say that at the time of her husband’s disappearance, she was engaged in the search and cooperative with law enforcement, “When he disappeared, I did everything I could to assist the police. I encouraged them to check out the rumors from Costa Rica, and separately, I hired a private investigator.” The “rumors from Costa Rica” come from a theory that Don Lewis might have permanently relocated to Costa Rica, where he had visited many times, both for business and pleasure. The rumors go further to suggest that Don had a mistress with whom he was attempting to build a new life. Carole Baskin’s full response to Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness can be found on the Big Cat Rescue website.
The real-life drama of these big cat professionals has taken another strange turn as ABC announced that Baskin would be appearing on the next season of Dancing with the Stars, leading to complex discourse about the ethics of putting a figure like Carole Baskin on the reality television show. Despite the fact that law enforcement was unable to link her to Don Lewis’s disappearance, the idea has left a bad taste in the mouth of some viewers who call the move ‘tasteless.’ Prior to being eliminated from the show, the family of Don Lewis took out local ad space to raise awareness about his unsolved disappearance. The family of Don Lewis, their attorney, and his former assistant appeared in the television spot right before Dancing With the Stars was set to air, encouraging anyone with information to contact law enforcement. Attorney John Philips said that some of the tips that were generated by the ad spot have proven to be credible, with tipsters offering both people and locations to investigate with due-diligence.
The Netflix docuseries has reignited interest in Don Lewis’ cold missing person case within present-day law enforcement. Chad Chronister, the sheriff in Tampa, Florida, tweeted out that he was asking for anyone with information to come forward in the interest of generating new leads in Don’s disappearance. Law enforcement at the time of the disappearance made it clear that Carole Baskin was investigated as a person of interest in Don’s disappearance, but they found “nothing linked her to being involved.” Its not uncommon for the spouse of a missing person to be looked at as a person of interest in their disappearance, but when the lead has been exhausted, investigators move on. Don Lewis’ missing person case is just one in an excess of 800,000 cases that remain unsolved today.
Anyone with information on the disappearance of Jack “Don” Lewis is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200.
The family of Vanessa Guillén had their worst fears confirmed last week when the Army officially identified human remains as belonging to the missing Fort Hood soldier. Vanessa Guillén disappeared in late April 2020 from her regiment headquarters located near Killeen, Texas. Her remains were found last Tuesday in what has been described as a “shallow grave” by a river in Texas. Authorities have stated they believe Guillén was killed by a fellow soldier, prompting outcry from the community and legislators who have demanded an investigation into the oversights that contributed to this crime.
Vanessa Guillén’s missing person case has been turbulent over the last ten days, beginning with the discovery of her remains by contractors who were working on a fence near the burial site. In a ghastly discovery, investigators found human remains in multiple locations throughout the area. According to ABC13, “When authorities searched the area, they found scattered human remains that appeared to be placed into a concrete-like substance and buried.”
Following the identification of the remains of Vanessa Guillén, investigators were able to identify a person of interest in the case—Aaron David Robinson, 20, an Army Specialist serving with Vanessa Guillén at Fort Hood. Robinson died by suicide on the day authorities contacted him after Guillén’s remains were identified. While it’s clear we’ll never get to hear an explanation from Robinson himself on his alleged role in the murder of Vanessa Guillén, police have received a gruesome alleged account from his estranged girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar.
Aguilar, 22, has officially been charged with a single count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence with regards to her role in concealing Vanessa Guillén’s murder. She gave a second-hand account of Guillén’s murder based on what Robinson allegedly confessed to her when he solicited her help in burying the remains. Aguilar told investigators that Robinson had confessed he had killed Vanessa Guillén in his arms room while on post the day she went missing. He did so by striking her in the head with a hammer. According to Aguilar, he then placed her body in an box and moved the box off-base near Leon River.
Aguilar then told investigators that Robinson picked her up from a gas station and took her to the box. According to what Aguilar told investigators, she then assisted Robinson in dismembering Vanessa Guillén and placing her remains in holes in three different locations near the bridge where they were discovered by contractors last week. Aguilar’s first court hearing is Monday, July 13.
The attorney representing Vanessa Guillén’s family has stated that Guillén may have been sexually harassed before her disappearance, but Army investigators have yet to establish a connection between the alleged harassment and the murder. The family has also criticized the Army for failing to act in the weeks following Guillén’s disappearance, stating that it wasn’t until national spotlight was on the case that the investigation was able to move forward. Major General Scott Efflandt defended against these claims by saying during a press conference, “What I was able to share [with the family] was tempered by my responsibility to protect the investigation so that we could a) find Vanessa; b) prosecute those responsible for this travesty, and in the end be in a position to punish them.”
Vanessa Guillén’s death prompted many in communities surrounding Fort Hood spent their Fourth of July a little differently this year. Thousands took to the streets of Houston last Saturday, demanding justice and accountability for a fallen member of the armed forces in the days following the identification of her remains. The case has sparked outrage from citizens in different walks of life including mothers and veterans who were sickened to hear the story of the Fort Hood Soldier, and how the Army appeared to have dragged its feet when it came to investigating her disappearance and getting answers for her family.