IDAHO FALLS – The parents of a toddler who disappeared during a weekend camping trip believe he was abducted, but they have faith he’s still alive.
In an interview with EastIdahoNews.com, Deorr Kunz Sr. and Jessica Mitchell say they are praying Deorr Kunz Jr. will be found soon.
“We’re looking for you son and we will find you,” an emotional Kunz Sr. said. “We love you more than anything in the world. You have a lot of people that love you, and buddy – we’ll find you.”
“If somebody has him please don’t hurt him,” Mitchell said. “Just bring him home safely where he belongs.”
After three days of intense searches, Deorr’s parents believe their 2-year-old was kidnapped Friday as the family was camping in Leadore.
“As his father I believe, and a lot of people agree with me, that he is no longer up the mountain anymore,” Kunz Sr. said.
No one has seen Deorr since Friday afternoon.
“We decided we were gonna do a little exploring,” Kunz Sr. said “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.”
The family said they searched for Deorr for about 20 minutes before calling 911.
Crews immediately responded and over the weekend, searchers were in the air, on ATV’s, on horseback, and on foot.
One area of concern was a creek near the Kunz’s campsite.
“[The sheriff] assured me there is 100 percent chance he is not anywhere in or near that water,” Kunz said. “They have torn that creek upside down and inside out. Divers have gone in with wetsuits along with the helicopter.”
The Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office officially suspended search and rescue efforts for Deorr Kunz Jr. on Sunday without explanation but Kunz Sr. said the family will continue to search for the boy.
Even though the family suspects their son may have been abducted, they have faith Deorr is safe and they have no idea who would want to take their son.
“Who would harm us this way?” Mitchell said. “Especially knowing how much he means to us. He’s everything to us.”
Deorr’s parents said they’re overwhelmed with how many people have been praying and helping in the search for their son. They continue to believe he’s still alive and hope he’ll be found soon.
“He doesn’t go anywhere without his blanket, his cup or his monkey,” Mitchell said, as she clutched Deorr’s blanket. “All three of them were left at the campground.”
“Please keep sharing his photo and please keep him in your hearts and your prayers,” Kunz Sr. said. “We have hope. Hope is what keeps it going because the search is not over.”
“We’ll continue to look until he’s found,” Mitchell said. “We don’t care how long it takes.”