Lemhi Sheriff issues statement regarding DeOrr Kunz Jr.
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The following is a news release from the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office.
On July 10, 2015, DeOrr Kunz, a two and a half-year-old toddler was reported missing from the Timber Creek Campground near Leadore, Idaho. At the time of his disappearance, DeOrr is believed to have been camping with his parents Jessica Mitchell and Vernal DeOrr Kunz, his grandfather Robert Walton, and family friend Isaac Reinwand.
On the day DeOrr was reported missing, a deputy and the local search and rescue commander arrived on the location where DeOrr was last seen within an hour and eighteen minutes of the Lemhi County Dispatch receiving the 911 call.Shortly thereafter, two more law enforcement officers arrived and deployed K-9 to help with the search. As the search for DeOrr continued, search teams, consisting of trained search and rescue members and local residents who were familiar with the area, were deployed on foot, motorcycle and ATVS. Additionally, two rescue boats with dive teams and a helicopter with FLIR capability were deployed to the campground to assist during the late hours of July 10 and on July 11, 2015.
The Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office scaled back the search approximately ten days after DeOrr was reported missing, although intensive searches resumed in late July, early August and the early fall of 2015, and searches of the area were again conducted in 2016 and 2017. In addition to the multiple searches of the area, all of the persons with DeOrr at the time of his disappearance have been interviewed by law enforcement officers many times and law enforcement continues to have periodic contact with those individuals.
The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation joined the investigative efforts by assisting our agency shortly after DeOrr’s disappearance. We have worked with several law enforcement agencies across the country to follow up on reported sightings and tips from other states. In 2017, we worked with the NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) to release an age progression photo of DeOrr.
Since our investigation began, some private investigators have also started separate investigations. It’s imperative for the public to understand that the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office is the lead law enforcement agency in this case. Our office does receive assistance at our request from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office and the F.B.I. Private investigators and others don’t speak for us, as we don’t speak for them. Official statements and facts regarding the case will only come from the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office.
While there are several theories as to what may have happened to DeOrr, none of these theories have been confirmed by our office. Our investigators continue to work diligently to explore all possibilities. We can’t afford to close any doors or to let frustration drive the investigation in any single direction.
The focus of our office case has and always will be DeOrr. We determine our investigative course of action by continually re-evaluating prior searches and information, combining those facts with new relevant information. If you have any direct information or knowledge surrounding DeOrr’s disappearance, we strongly urge you to contact us. The most effective and efficient way to report a tip is by calling the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 756-8980 or our tip line at (208) 756-4636 to remain anonymous.