Private investigator issues lengthy report on DeOrr Kunz case - East Idaho News
DeOrr Kunz Jr.

Private investigator issues lengthy report on DeOrr Kunz case

  Published at  | Updated at
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready ...

EDITOR’S NOTE: Philip Klein, a private civil investigator based in Texas, has been investigating the disappearance of Idaho Falls toddler DeOrr Kunz, Jr. since last fall.

Klein released a full report on the case Saturday evening. It is posted in its entirety below.

Klein is not a police officer and cannot make arrests or conduct an official investigation of the case. Additionally, law enforcement investigators have not confirmed to any information or details contained in this report.

The release

We are issuing the following report to the people of Idaho whom have donated money in order to further the investigation into the disappearance of DeOrr Kunz, Jr., a three year old child. The following is our report to the public.


KIC Texas was brought into the case after turning it down two times in the late summer and fall of 2015. The family had no money to hire an investigator and through family and friends applied for funding from KIC Texas.

In November of 2015 KIC Texas agreed to take the case and through fundraisers with the general public $29,201 was raised for the investigation of which $20,000 was used for investigators and equipment travel and hotels only.

Investigator hourly cost and all other costs have been donated by the Klein foundation that is funded by KIC Texas and the stockholders of KIC. DeOrr Kunz Sr. agreed to be the figurehead on the contractual side only if the public would provide the funding for the case. We have no idea what happened to the $9,201 other money given.

DeOrr Kunz was a three year old male allegedly fathered by Vernal DeOrr Kunz and mothered Jessica Mitchell Anderson of the State of Idaho.

During a camping trip on July 10, 2015, Vernal Kunz and Jessica Mitchell Anderson reported to 911 Idaho that their son DeOrr was missing at a camp ground near Leador Idaho. Massive searches were undertaken within 5 sq miles of the site where it is alleged the child went missing. There was no trace evidence found.

Agencies Involved

The following public and private agencies are currently investigating this incident :

  • Lemhi County Sheriff’s Department – Lead Criminal Agency
  • Bonneville Sheriff’s Department – Idaho Falls, Idaho – Backing Agency
  • USDOJ – FBI – Backing Agency
  • USDOJ – FBI – Washington DC – Missing Children’s Division / Lab
  • KIC Texas – Child Rescue Team 7 – Lead Civil
  • Mr. Frank Viltz – Private Investigator (resigned)

Currently, all active agencies are sharing information, leads, and theory based information through a hard drive set up and accessed through each department / agency. Further, communications are made between the groups on a regular basis as needed.

Previous Findings

KIC Texas came into the case in November of 2015 “cold.” KIC did not review, read, or correspond with any agency or media group until after phase one was established in the investigation. This phase included but was not limited to 1) interviews with family, friends, relatives, witnesses and site location information.

Post completion of phase one – it was determined the following theories needed to be examined:

  • An animal or Large animal had taken the child for food.
  • The forced or unforced kidnapping had occurred, up to and including a “sale of the child.”
  • A homicide being either by accident or intentional.

During phase two each of the investigation each theory was examined and compared to the witness statements of each of the family members. As well, an extensive timeline was created based upon the parents and those whom were at the camp ground on that day. Equally, each and every witness was re-interviewed and evidence was recovered. As well, comparison with documents, statements and evidence held by the USDOJ, Lemhi County SO and Bonneville County SO was had.

Phase three began in March of 2016 (after the public was advised) as all of the information was gathered, placed together, timelines completed and witness interviews completed. After careful analysis of the information it was determined as follows :

  • There was no evidence the child was taken by an animal.
  • There was no evidence that a forced or unforced kidnapping had occurred.
  • There was evidence that a homicide had occurred by either accident or intentional means.

Further timelines and witnesses were reviewed and applied to the theory. During this period it was discovered that manipulation and outright deception was undertaken by Vernal Kunz, Jessica Mitchell Anderson and Robert “Bob” Walton. It was further found that after refusing to speak with KIC Investigators, that Issac Reinwand came forward to investigators and gave four statements.

After examination of such – the following conclusions based upon evidence at hand was made :

1. Vernal Kunz was deceptive, had failed five (5) polygraph examinations and had told six different stories. Vernal Kunz was declared a suspect in a homicide either by accident or intentional means.
2. Jessica Mitchell Anderson was deceptive, had failed four (4) polygraph examinations and had told five different stories. Jessica Anderson was declared a suspect in a homicide either by accident or intentional means.
3. Robert “Bob” Walton was deceptive, had told two stories to KIC investigators, and was inconclusive on his polygraph examinations. Bob Walton was declared a person of interest or witness in a homicide either by accident or intentional means.
4. Issac Reinwand was truthful, had told the same story to KIC investigators and Law Enforcement four times. However, some details had been left out of one of the stories. After review Reinwand was declared a person of interest as a witness in a homicide either by accident or intentional means.
The above stated findings have not changed and in fact have become stronger post phase three of this investigation. We are in full agreement with Law Enforcement’s findings.

Current Status of Investigation

The following are the current public notes regarding the status of this investigation :

Search of June 2016

In June of 2016 investigators arrived in Leador, Id, and completed a five day targeted search. Investigators flew in Tracy Sargent and her dog “Chance” who is a well known and well respected searcher from the state of Georgia. As well, the team flew in MJ “Jane” Holmes, of the state of Georgia whom is well known for her advanced interview and operations skills. During the five day operation, law enforcement agents from both Lemhi and Bonneville Counties were represented.

During the five day operation the following objectives were met :

  • Time distance study to fully verify or disprove Vernal Kunz’s timeline.
  • Time distance study to fully verify or disprove Jessica Mitchell Anderson’s timeline.
  • Cell Phone Impact and Signal Study of known directional “pings” in investigators possession.
  • Site location study to verify or disprove the testimony by witnesses to KIC and Law Enforcement.
  • Dog Search – to verify or disprove the testimony to KIC and Law Enforcement.
  • A secondary dog search in the city of Idaho Falls, ID, at two locations.

The following were the results :

  • The time distance study failed to verify Vernal Kunz’s testimony in his timeline.
  • The time distance study failed to verify Jessica Mitchell Anderson’s testimony in her timeline.
  • The Cell Phone Impact study was able to determine that Vernal Kunz’s testimony was fabricated. As well it was determined that Vernal Kunz’s testimony that he drove 1.5 miles to get a cell signal was not truthful.
  • The site location study was successfully completed and it was determined that the testimony of Kunz, Anderson and Walton not only could not be verified, but physically according to their statements to KIC and Law Enforcement, the events as portrayed could not have occurred.
  • The dog study presented five areas of “hits” further explained below.
  • The secondary dog study was productive and is further explained below.

Tracy Sargent’ Report of Findings

Investigator Sargent reports the “Chance” whom is a trained cadaver dog hit five different unknown targets. Chance is trained on human decomposition and human blood pathogen decomposition.

The following are the hits (limited) :

1. “Diaper Tree Area” – This is the area to which it was testified that “a diaper” was hung in the tree in the campground.
2. 139 Feet East of the Cattle Guard in the camp ground – in a loose ground area.
3. 10 Feet Due East of camp site.
4. 2.24 miles due Northeast of the 15 mp stake, in the ravine near 221 southeast fence.
5. Camp site ground .75 miles due East of the camp ground.

Area 1 : There was no evidence obtained.
Area 2 : Excavation was undertaken by LE and KIC – this area needs to be further exhumed and was turned over to Law Enforcement for further investigation by their team.
Area 3 : This area was excavated by hand – and found that a previous animal had been buried at this location. During the burial the subject who did the burial cut his hand and bled into a towel wrapped around the animal.
Area 4 : Investigators have turned this area over to law enforcement.
Area 5 : Investigators believe this site may have been a “holding site” for some type of human body.

There was no other evidence found.

Secondary Search Sites

Area 1 : The Clegg Residence in Idaho Falls, ID, was searched with permission. The house, trailers, camping equipment and other equipment (other than a shovel) was cleared. It is important to note that Trina Clegg has not been named a suspect and investigators have no evidence to suggest such. We are unclear if she has any information – however – she testifies she has no information. Her 2nd polygraph is pending with the USDOJ FBI.

Area 2 : Investigators searched by permission in the 900 block of Ada, Idaho Falls, Id, which is the former residence of Vernal Kunz and Jessica Mitchell. Both had been evicted for not paying rent and had left in the apartment furniture and clothing. In such, the landlord had cleaned out the apartment and move all of the articles to near the dumpster for removal as the property had been declared “abandoned” by the landlord. Investigators were given permission to search the abandoned waste by the landlord. During the search we will report investigators found the following :

1. Four matchbox cars described previously by the parents as “missing and they did not know where they were.”
2. A camo child’s jacket similar to being described by both parents as being worn on the day of the event and suggested to be missing with the child.
3. A credit card used by a family friend with seemingly purchases of items unknown to investigators in testimony.
4. An insurance tracking device box and instruction package.

All evidence was turned over to Lemhi County SO for further testing with the USDOJ – FBI.

Preliminary Findings of Phase Four – Search

Investigators have taken four weeks to review the finds of this operation and herein make the following preliminary findings report to the public of Idaho :

1. We believe that the parents being Vernal Kunz and Jessica Anderson are deceptive with intent to cover up a crime.
2. We believe that our investigation now starts regarding an intentional homicide.
3. We now have no evidence other than the testimony of the four persons on the site on July 10, 2016, that indicates that DeOrr Kunz, Jr., a minor child, was on the mountain as testified by these witnesses.
4. We believe that the parents, through family members, and through friends in social media (although a very limited audience), have begun a misinformation operation on behalf of Deorr Kunz and Jessica Mitchell to impugn the jury pool, mislead the media, mislead law enforcement, and mislead investigators with KIC Texas as well as the public in general.
5. We have now, due to the testimony of all witnesses including store employees, clerks, beer distribution drives, fuel handlers, and credible witnesses that have given credible testimony, that we cannot find any person that saw the child go up to the mountain either the day of the event – or the evening before. We therefore are now moving our timeline of the event back to 5 p.m. of the day before the 911 call was made.

Conclusion of Report

We the investigators (Team 7) on this case want to assure the public that we working everyday on this case. We do not see this case as a cold case as of yet – but that will be determined by Law Enforcement and not our team. We fully believe that this case is solvable. We fully believe in the Law Enforcement of the county – and we believe in the dedicated men and women of the FBI that are working hard on this case. They are wonderful dedicated men and women.

Further, I cannot say enough about the dedicated team at KIC – from the team from Georgia to our offices in Southeast Texas. Each person every day comes by my office and talks about the case and wants to come up with new angles. We do not make statements loosely – we make them based on fact.

We further want to urge you all to remember when you read suggestions, you read information, or you see something somewhere that you think is out of place – it probably is. When people start attacking Law Enforcement and our team just smile and know they have nothing other to offer. It is okay because we are hard working dedicated investigators with really thick skin. We could care less what some blogger or Facebook site manager has to say because they are not privy to the evidence that we all have and continue to discover, however, we equally do not want to discourage it either as sometimes one of the administrators or writers or fake profile writers says something that nobody knows outside of the investigators. It helps us build our case.

Lastly, we have opened an investigation on two Facebook administrators, as they have leaked information regarding the investigation only known to investigators on the case. We have made contact with the administrator but they will not return our call (s). We hope that the person will consider calling us as one piece of information they may have could break the case open.

Thank you again for your thoughtful comments and you’re not so thoughtful comments in the social media sector. We are a country of freedoms – being one of them freedom of speech. However, we encourage you to think before you push “enter” and post. You may be misled and may need to consider your actions in the end.

Philip R. Klein, TPLI – PPO
Sr. Investigator / Team Leader “Team 7”