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Sheriff on DeOrr case: ‘I’m believing we have a homicide’


SALMON — The sheriff of Lemhi County says the disappearance of Idaho Falls toddler DeOrr Kunz, Jr. is “moving more and more towards it being a homicide.”

Sheriff Lynn Bowerman appeared on the HLN program “Dr. Drew” Tuesday night and told guest host Lisa Bloom that an abduction or wild animal attack have been ruled out.

“If there was an accident, there’s no reason not to come forward, state the facts, let us look at little DeOrr and say, ‘Yeah, we agreed that’s what happened,’ and we can move on with our lives,” Bowerman said. “None of those things have happened.”

It’s been nearly a year since DeOrr’s parents say their then-2-year-old boy disappeared while on a camping trip at Timber Creek Campground in Lemhi County.

Bowerman has named DeOrr’s mother, Jessica Mitchell, and father, Vernal DeOrr Kunz Sr., as suspects in the case, but they have not been arrested.

“Not only am I not believing he was ever there, but I’m believing that we have a homicide.”

Robert Walton, Mitchell’s grandfather, and Isaac Reinwand, a friend of Walton, were also on the camping trip when the child vanished July 10, 2015.

“We have no credible witness at this time that can clearly state that (DeOrr) was at the scene,” Bowerman told Bloom. “Not only am I not believing he was ever there, but I’m believing that we have a homicide.”

Allen Browning, an Idaho Falls attorney representing Kunz Sr., also appeared on the show. He said Bowerman’s claims of homicide were “false” and told Bloom that DeOrr had been with his family on the trip.

“The child was there at the campground,” Browning said. “There were three adults up there that were family members … and Isaac appears to be the last person to see that child alive.”

Investigators have said Reinwand has been cooperative with detectives and he, along with others on the camping trip, has been a “person of interest” since DeOrr disappeared.

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