DeOrr’s parents named as suspects in child’s disappearance

Crime Watch

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DeOrr Kunz Sr. and Jessica Mitchell give an interview with about their missing son on August 11.

SALMON — The Lemhi County Sheriff says the parents of DeOrr Kunz Jr. have been “less than truthful” during polygraph tests and interviews with investigators.

DeOrr Kunz Sr. and Jessica Mitchell were officially named suspects Monday in connection with the child’s disappearance. Previously, the parents had been persons of interest in the case.

Sheriff Lynn Bowerman tells that Kunz and Mitchell have changed their story “numerous times” about what happened during a family camping trip on July 10.

In a July interview with, Kunz and Mitchell said they were camping in Leadore when they left their son with Robert Walton, Mitchell’s grandfather, and Isaac Reinwand, a friend of Walton. The couple says they went on a 20-minute walk and when they returned, DeOrr was gone.

Bowerman says the parents have told investigators conflicting stories “since the beginning.”

“Their timeline keeps changing, where they were at keeps changing, and movements and statements about DeOrr Jr. keep changing,” Bowerman tells

Deorr Kunz03

DeOrr Kunz Jr.

Bowerman says portions of polygraph tests administered to Kunz and Mitchell have come back “less than truthful” – including questions about knowing what happened to DeOrr, why the child disappeared and where the toddler is located.

“Their statements don’t match, and it’s frustrating because we have absolutely no idea where DeOrr is,” Bowerman says. “There have been so many inconsistencies that it’s hard to tell the truth from everything they’ve said.”

Bowerman says polygraphs administered to Reinwand and Walton have been inconclusive, but those results were expected because of both men’s mental states.

Bowerman and Lemhi County Chief Deputy Steve Penner were in Idaho Falls all weekend working with Bonneville County Sheriff detectives and FBI agents.

Bowerman says Kunz and Mitchell were interviewed along with Walton and Reinwand. Walton and Reinwand have not been cleared, but investigators are focusing on Kunz and Mitchell, Bowerman said.

“We’re asking anyone with information about Kunz or Mitchell that could help in this case to come forward,” Bowerman said. “We want this case solved, and we need the public’s help.”


DeOrr Kunz Sr. searches the Lemhi County campground for his missing son in July.

“I don’t think that arrests are imminent, but we’re leaving all options open,” Bowerman says. “We don’t want charge them too early should we find DeOrr and things change.”

Bowerman is “100 percent” positive the child was not abducted and he credits the FBI and the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office for playing a major role in helping the investigation. He says investigators are working very hard to resolve this case.

“I have a responsibility to the public to be open about this case,” he says.

The Kunz family private investigator, Philip R. Klein, released the following statement Monday afternoon:

“I have read the press statement issued by the sheriff of Lemhi County Lynn Bowerman. Our investigation has not uncovered any information that contradicts his statement.”

No arrest warrants had been issued as of Monday morning.


DeOrr investigator: I think we know ‘how,’ we’re just trying to figure out ‘why’

Six months since Deorr’s disappearance; fundraiser planned for investigation

DeOrr Kunz family speaks during final 2015 search

Lemhi Sheriff on Deorr Kunz: “We Do Not Suspect Foul Play”

Heartbroken Parents of Missing 2-year-old: “We’ll find you son”

UPDATED: Grandma of missing 2-year-old: “He Just Vanished”

  • MsOld says:

    I sincerely hope they are not involved. Children are our most precious commodity.

    • Michael Barr says:

      Children are a “commodity” really? REALLY? I can’t even believe someone would think that way. Bread, Milk, and Vegetables are commodities.

      • thisIsKristopher says:

        You are mincing words. While I agree with you that MsOld misused the word, “commodity” (A raw material that may be bought or sold)…Her intent was pretty clear. It seems doubtful she “Thinks that way” because she used a wrong word. Use your common sense.

      • Steven Read says:

        calm down there buddy. its not like she actually thinks kids are like milk and bread. And you know that’s not what she meant, so you’re just being a dick

      • MsOld says:

        That’s rather humorous. Have you considered finding something real to get worked up over or is this really worth your energy?

      • Pickles says:

        Oh brother. My eyes just rolled from my head and onto the floor.

  • Daren Long says:

    Maybe I am just cynical but I think most people believed them to be suspects all along. Am I wrong? Innocent until proven guilty of course, but I am sure that everyone hopes that the truth can come out and put a resolution to the life of this little boy.

    • MsOld says:

      I would not condemn anyone for thinking they were involved. I do not recall you being one who came on the sites blasting the parents prior to any real knowledge though either. For that, I commend you.

  • patriot6280 says:

    I’ve suspected this all along…One of the first things was how the dad spent far too much time praising what a great job law enforcement was doing and the mom saying “It was 2:36 when I called.” When you’re under that much stress, you don’t normally notice the exact minute you did something.

    • Leslie Wendle Wiebe says:


    • Nana Chel says:

      when your child goes missing … I think you do … sorry … I don’t believe they are telling the entire truth … but I’m sure she’s looked at her phone over and over … trying to retrace and recall … there have been weird interactions between her and hubby …. people noticed .. we want answers about what happened to this little angel … I know they are balls of energy, full of questions and want to explore … did more time pass than they realized …??? We’ve met the mom, the dad, the grandpa ?? or great grandpa ?? and friend … where is the rest of the family in all this ??? Praying for D’Orr

  • Bob Enderton says:

    Bring them back to Lemhi county. Chain them to a tree near one of our local wolf packs. Throw a couple of raw steaks by their feet. See how long it is before they start talking.

    • Steven Read says:

      That sounds like some fine Due Process there Bob. While we’re at it, why don’t we just wipe our ass with the constitution and then set it on fire. Hell, why have laws and rights at all when we have the court of public opinion, right?

      • Leslie Wendle Wiebe says:

        Are you NEVER hyperbolic to get your point across?

        • Steven Read says:

          Well, clearly I am not “NEVER hyperbolic”, since I clearly used a hyperbole in my original comment. But if you actually meant to ask if I ever do not use hyberboles to express my point, the answer is, sometimes

        • Steven Read says:

          Well, clearly I am not “NEVER hyperbolic”, since I clearly used a hyperbole in my original comment. But if you actually meant to ask if I ever do not use a hyperbole to express my point, the answer is, sometimes

    • Chris Peak says:

      I wish people like you and I ran this world…

    • Dave says:

      Is Lemhi County a Constitution-Free zone??

      I admire your courageous and thoughtful approach to justice. What could possibly go wrong with torturing confessions out of people. History teaches us that it is always an effective method for finding truth! (I suspect subtlety might not be your strong suit, so I’ll be clear: I am being sarcastic.).

      There are plenty of other countries that still employ the medieval methods of trial by ordeal that you propose. Maybe you’d be happier living in one of those?

  • thisIsKristopher says:

    I really think it would be disgusting if it turns out they are guilty of this. Even if they didn’t “kill” him (it was an accident and they covered it up)…

    Either way I hope we soon have justice for Deorr.

    Good job Sheriff Bowerman for stalwart investigation.

    • 911 Is My Marriage Counselor says:

      A lot of time and effort has gone into this case. I think law enforcement has done their due diligence (and then some). They have named the correct suspects.

  • Kattelina Ranew says:

    I knew it all along. The mother was a suspect when they did the first interview. No eye contact n kept looking at the husband. The father kept interrupting her so that she wouldn’t say anything stupid. I knew it. Body language n eye contact is a major thing n the first thing that gave them away.

    • patriot6280 says:

      And as I’ve posted elsewhere, I just can’t see a mother not breaking down hysterically while holding and talking about the blanket that her son never went anywhere without.

      • Nana Chel says:

        right ??? … I tried not to jump to conclusions .. but things don’t add up .. their interviews .. their interactions … responses … gestures … they are on display … and what I’ve seen … says they know more than they are telling

    • 911 Is My Marriage Counselor says:

      And then she was checking her cell phone for messages, as if to say, “Are we done with this pesky interview, yet?”

    • Gayle says:

      I agree, I’ve always suspected them. And hey where’s the guy with the reverse messaging? .,He knows his stuff.

      • Leslie Wendle Wiebe says:

        Eh..I never got that stuff. I could just tell from the original Nate Eaton interview. The father wasn’t saying anything, even though he never shut his mouth. He was just rambling like an idiot to fill up time. Maybe he was tweaking. I don’t know. And she just sat there stone-faced, assuming she was looking sad, which she wasn’t. I loved that she brought the baby’s blanket. Nice touch. Idiots.

        • Nana Chel says:

          when my grandson’s mother beat him … she reacted much the same way … and denied it .. blamed everyone else .. but the sheriff’s knew… so do these guys … I’m devastated …that these mothers can do this to children they carried for 9 mos. and gave birth to …I don’t understand what has happened and why they believe no one sees thru their lies

          • LuX says:

            It is so wrong…as a woman that cannot conceive…it makes me feel sick. I’d give anything for a sweet little boy like DeOrr. So sad 🙁

  • Chris Peak says:

    Dad just sits at camp drinking Pepsi’s while everyone looks for his kid? You would have to bring me new nike’s everyday and drop my ass with a bear tranquilizer to get me to stop look for one of my babies. This is crap I hope Bonneville County has enough money for the death penalty…

  • Chris Peak says:

    Dad just sits at camp drinking Pepsi’s while everyone looks for his kid? You would have to bring me new nike’s everyday and drop my ass with a bear tranquilizer to get me to stop look for one of my babies. This is crap I hope Bonneville County has enough money for the death penalty…

  • tami douglass says:

    No matter the outcome, it is heartwarming to see all the people locally and around the country that used their resources, time, equipment and prayers for a little boy they never met.

    • dean bird says:

      Dean Bird
      I’m sure that the searchers have found camp fire spots around the search area. What’s the possibility that the parents went to a area around, maybe a quarter of a mile and built a camp fire. After the fire had burned for awhile they went back to original campsite and waited for a the next days and waited tell gram-pa dosed off or distracted and then took the child to the camp area that they had built the campfire, at that point they dug up the camp fire, now that it is cooled off, dug it several feet deep, did what they did to the little boy, and buried him under the camp fire to make it look as if it was a campers camp site after they put the burned wood back and the ashes that they saved from the fire the day before. He could be buried in a garbage bag of thicker mil to detract any search dogs or animals of any kind. One thing that I learned as a ranger in the army is you always look for things that does not belong there. The campfire would be normal sight in that environment and the boy could be under the campfire pit and never be noticed. Does that make scene? also I would look for a area that might have rocks about the size that two people could place over a body or could be rolling over the body with out leaving a trace. see if a large rock has rolled from its original place.
      I still think the camp fire is the best Idea.

    • Nana Chel says:

      People are generally good … at least that’s been my experience … except in the big cities .. where they are worried about losing their things or worse

    • Dave says:

      And to judge a couple they never met.

      • Heather says:

        Who cares about everyone judging them Dave? Seems to me as you are more concerned with the parents reputation than with DeOrr. Just like DKS & JM… Hmm.

        • J. Abercrombie says:

          I agree Heather. Dave must be a family member.

          • Dave says:

            Speaking of jumping to incorrect conclusions…

            Don’t worry, Abercrombie, you are about as good a detective as most of the other commenters here.

          • J.Abercrombie says:

            Oh I’m not worried. And thanks for the compliment:)

        • Dave says:

          I can be concerned about two things at once. I am very concerned about DeOrr. But I am also concerned about an apparently widespread culture of condemnation and smug certainty based on extremely limited information. That culture, which we see on display in these comments, threatens everyone. It seems ironic to me that the original comment praises “all the people” for their Christian response to this crisis, when about 90% of the comments on this story show that most of “the people” are just thrilled to jump to the conclusion that this couple has most definitely committed the most horrific of sins — allowing or participating in the death of one’s own child — based on shockingly little information, just so they can say “I told you so!” It IS inspiring to see people come together to help each other, but make no mistake, nothing brings people together better than a good ole’ fashioned lynch mob.

  • 911 Is My Marriage Counselor says:

    First of all, please excuse my username as I typically use it somewhere else as a joke. 911 most certainly is NOT my marriage counselor – LOL!

    Anyway, you should all check out the conversations going on over on WebSleuths. These folks have been following the case since day one and have put some interesting theories out there:

  • Leslie Wendle Wiebe says:

    Jessica’s feeble attempt at looking sad – top pic. She just looks pissed off. She never shed ONE tear.

    • Tamlee says:

      Mmm, how do you know she has not shed a tear?? just because she didn’t do it in front of the camera surely doesn’t mean that she hasn’t cried or shed a tear. In fact she could of cried so much, that there were simply no more tears that would come, only an awful pain.
      No, I do not know the family and I don’t know who or what happened to baby Deorr, but your assumption simply on an interview, with not being there before, after or during is disgusting.

  • Dave says:

    Wow, East Idaho is just chock full of world class super sleuths. You guys have it all figured out, huh? Couple of distraught parents can’t control their pulse and breathing on a polygraph and suddenly everyone “knew it all along.” Here’s the thing, Sherlocks: an inconclusive polygraph doesn’t really mean jack crap — that’s why they are generally inadmissible in court. I don’t know if these parents had anything to do with the child’s disappearance, and I hate to break this to you all, but neither do any of you, despite this latest non-development. So lets all just put down the pitchforks for a minute and wait for a teensy bit more information before we decide the case, mmmkay? Back to your lives, citizens; nothing to see here.

    • Pickles says:

      Did you miss the part in the story that talks about their story changing numerous times? The truth doesn’t change with each telling of a story.

    • Jenesa Johnson says:

      It wasn’t just an inconclusive polygraph though. It’s inconsistencies in their timeline stories and their statements on the events that took place. Local law enforcement has come to their conclusions by working with the FBI. The Feds do this everyday and have true experience in these situations. Nobody knows at this point if the parents are innocent or not. Only the parents know that. I pray they are innocent, but this case hasn’t added up since day one.

      • LuX says:

        Also when investigating a crime, the investigators start with the last person to see the victim and slowly work outward. Parents and loved ones are almost always investigated. It is worrisome that the parents’ story keeps changing…I pray they are innocent and little DeOrr is found safe but it doesn’t look good…biggest red flag…who loses track of a two-year-old? Not very attentive parents…thats who…so no matter guilty or not…they should have paid proper attention to their child. Sad case all around.

      • Dc23 says:

        True. Very much agreed.

    • Audrey Nicholas says:

      Thank god someone’s not an idiot. I’m from new Jersey the only reason I’m familiar with the case at all is bc i have family in salmon. Nothing in this NEW NEWS was new or for that matter news. What’s that old saying believe none of what you hear and half of what u read (i think that’s how it goes) and inconclusive could have meant they passed but inconclusive sounds better. And their story/timeline changing numerous times wtf they just lost a child in the wilderness (I’m hopeful that they’re not monsters) and if these parents are innocent then the popo f*ed up and let the true abductor get away Scott free. Some crazy mountain man could have that kid doing go’s know hat to him. Listen the parents could be guilty, absolutely. But these so called “news stories” are just a bunch of already written stuff and adjective. I hate that ppl are so quick to judge. XOXO 😜audrey from jersey⭐

  • Jenesa Johnson says:

    This whole situation is heart breaking. My prayers go out to this little boy. Whatever happened that day, I hope justice is served.

  • Cynthia Russell says:

    When my 5 and a half mth old baby girl passed away in june it killed me and still kills me everyday.. i couldnt eat, sleep, nothing but cry…. today marks 7 mths shes been gone and im still breaking down every moment…. its unbearable going day to day without her…. and mitchell walks around like nothing ever happened. Like shes glad deorr is gone….

    • mel says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. It kills me that good parents like you lose yours when you want to love and care for them and scumbags like these parents do things like this…

    • Dave says:

      It shocks me that, with your personal experience losing a child, you could be so insensitive as to judge how another parent who has lost a child processes grief. I would think that, of all people, you would be more empathetic. I’m sorry for your loss, and I’m sorry for this family’s loss too. Until they are proven guilty, all I can be is sorry.

  • Melissa A Hansen says:

    I guess I don’t know how I feel about it the way the dad kept interrupting her so she wouldn’t slip up makes me feel like they do know something and when he said lots of people beleive me lots it’s like 1 lots it’s fine buddy. Just makes me feel horrible for the little boy these parents only cry for guilt I fear. I await every day to hear good news but I feel as if they have hidden him away or worse. Prayers he’s found Alive

  • on2em says:

    I don’t think the evidence is conclusive enough to start bad mouthing these people. It would take a lot more of actual evidence before I would start condemning them. Even if they were charged with something, you wait for a fair trial, (that’s the American way. And they haven’t even been charged with any thing.

  • Pickles says:

    And right on cue, someone brings up Obama. It must be so exhausting to blame everything on Obama 24/7. However, if following and supporting the Constitution makes me an Obama follower, count me in. I don’t know about you, but I want a president that insures that the Constitution is followed to the letter.

    • Steven Read says:

      Obama uses the constitution as toilet paper every day, so if you believe in the constitution, you should not be an Obama supporter. As far as blaming Obama goes, the last time society blamed a president for everything was….the last president we had, and the next time society will blame a president for everything….will be the next president we have.

  • Pickles says:

    If you want to live in a society such as this, may I suggest you move to the Middle East or maybe North Korea? I’ll help you pack.

  • Pickles says:

    It is possible that the reason the searchers couldn’t pick up a scent, is because the little guy was never on that camping trip.

  • Steven Read says:

    -This is Bob
    -Bob claims people are Obama supporters for picking and choosing which rights to protect
    -while picking and choosing which rights to protect.
    -Bob feels that justice should be served, but doesn’t care who is punished
    -Don’t be like Bob
    -Bob isn’t very bright

  • Dc23 says:

    Sooo…why so many?

  • candicewooddubois says:

    If you can find the article it actually has a letter to Deorr Sr from Vilt the first PI;stating exactly why he pulled out.

  • Deb says:

    I am sadden that people rush to judgement. If you have not been in their shoes you have no idea how you would react. I don’t know if their guilty, I pray that they are not, but what I do know is that no one but God knows where our children are 100% of the time.When I was 8 my 6 year old brother drowned in a swimming pool 2 blocks from our home. My mom had just had a baby , she asked me to watch my younger sisters and brothers while she went into the house and changed the babies diaper. She was gone less than ten minutes and in that short period of time I had lost track of him. Do please do not judge what you do not know. They may very well be guilty but if not you have condemned them to hell with your idle accusations.

  • J. Abercrombie says:

    What’s distorted are their brains. I’m sure the FBI and sheriff have enough experience dealing with liars that they know exactly what one looks like. They aren’t stupid. Regardless of stories changing, they didn’t seem the least bit upset three days after their child went missing. I along with other good parents would be on the floor in agony if that happened to my child!!!! That’s enough proof for me. It’s blatantly obvious! Poor poor children of this world!!

  • Alex says:

    not to the point of no return….. I have a two year old and I’d be dammed if my kids get out of my sight for even 10 seconds. …. my guess is alcohol or something was involved if it was a “accident” hiding it if it was a accident makes the accident look like a homicide.

  • Alex says:

    Dave are you related to the family ??? you have a lot of post defending them????

  • Shane says:

    Lol!! Great answer Bob. Like it