PORTLAND, Ore. -- Thursday September 9 was Kyron Horman's eighth birthday and family members hosted a huge party in Medford, where his mother lives, to show he is not forgotten during his disappearance.
"I thought, well I want him to see that we still love him, we care about him, we still want him home and this is how I decided to do that," Kyron's mother, Desiree Young said.
The family pastor also spoke at the celebration, held at the Main Church of Christ in Medford. “Despite uncertainty and questions, despite confusion and turmoil, tonight we ask every heart here to be gathered together under one ambition. Let us all be gathered together tonight under the banner of hope. Hope for the future of Kyron and many, many more happy birthdays to come,” said Pastor Brian Pannel.
For Kyron's family and the thousands who've never met him but have come to follow his story, it was a day of hope - mixed with sadness and reflection.
More: Sunday birthday party planned in Portland
Kyron was last seen at Skyline Elementary on the morning of June 4. Three months later, his disappearance remains heartbreaking and mysterious.
Despite a massive law enforcement effort, no suspects or persons of interest have been named in the case.
Although Kyron's father has kept Kyron's room nearly as it was, so much else has changed. Kyron's father, Kaine and his half-sister, Kiara now live alone in the family's Northwest Portland home. Kaine filed for divorce and forced Terri from the family's home after being told by police that she plotted to hire a landscaper to kill him. Terri Moulton Horman has since moved back to Roseburg, where she grew up, while the couple's lawyers battle in court over the terms of their divorce.
Meanwhile, Terri has retained noted criminal defense attorney Stephen Houze, and reportedly has paid him $350,000 for his services.
Kyron disappeared after a school science fair at Skyline Elementary on the morning of June 4. The last person to see him was his step-mom, Terri. He was reported missing that afternoon when his parents greeted the school bus and he wasn't on board.
A search for him was launched immediately. A week later, the search had grown to include over 200 volunteers from around the state. Investigators were tight-lipped, calling it a missing persons case. The massive effort included searches of Sauvie Island, a distance from the school that a child would likely not walk on foot.
On Friday, June 11, Kyron's parents and step-parents appeared together and the two fathers spoke, begging for Kyron's safe return. On Web sites and social networks, readers commented on Terri Horman's demeanor at the press conference: Sobs, but no tears, and awkward body language.
The first inkling that the investigation turned bad was a simple one. On the following Sunday, the sheriff's office asked the public to hold off on donations for the the searchers. Hours later, police said his disappearance was a criminal case and sent most searchers home.
Residents and businesses around Skyline school were asked to provide any and all security video of the day before and day of the disappearance.
School ended for the Skyline students on June 15, with an uplifting visit from Blazer coach Nate McMillan and star Brandon Roy. Clear Channel Communications donated 30 billboards with Kyron's face and a plea in English, Spanish and Russian.
On Friday, June 18, police asked anyone who saw Terri or the family's white Ford pickup on June 4 to contact authorities.
By June 27th, People magazine featured Kyron's story for the second time, with a bombshell. Terri's father revealed to the magazine that his daughter had been grilled by the police for up to six hours at a stretch.
The next day, Kaine filed for divorce. He, Desiree and Tony issued a statement praising the police for their diligence. Missing from that statement was the name of Terri Horman.
The same week, sources told KGW that Terri had lied to investigators and had been uncooperative.
The Oregonian then broke an astonishing story: Terri Horman had tried to hire a landscaper to murder her husband, Kaine. Court documents revealed that police arranged a sting where the landscaper returned to the Horman home, along with a plain-clothed detective, to try and get Terri to recount the plot. She did not respond as they predicted and was not arrested.
Yet, the revelation of the murder plot still prompted Kaine to move out of the house with his daughter Kiara. A restraining order was issued against Terri.
Another bombshell emerged in mid-July. Terri had been 'sexting' with a high school friend of Kaine. Court documents also stated that Terri had sent sexually explicit photos of herself to the man. Michael Cook had not met Terri before Kyron's disappearance, but had helped the family after June 4. He denied having sex with Terri, but admitted to foolish behavior. On his cell phone, police found evidence that Cook had mapped out the location of Kaine's new home and photographed a sealed restraining order.
Through the rest of July, Kaine and Desiree made more appearances before the media. By month's end, police sources confided to KGW that there was probable cause to arrest Terri Horman for Kyron's disappearance.
In the first two weeks of August, the circle of intrigue had grown to include DeDe Spicher, a longtime friend of Terri. Her Tualatin home had been searched in July. It turned out that Spicher was gardening near the Horman home June 4. She could not account for her time for a portion of that morning. Neither could Terri.
Spicher told People magazine in their Aug. 17 issue that she and Terri had nothing to hide, that she and Terri were being unfairly singled out by law enforcement.
During August, a grand jury in the case remained busy, with school employees, friends of Terri Horman, and many others called to testify. But the grand jury suspended itself for the time being.
With the fall school year approaching, Kaine and Desiree faced a heartbreaking reality. So did the public that been following the case. Everyone knew it was coming. The Wall of Hope that had come to symbolize the love the public has for Kyron had to be moved before the start of school. Volunteers picked it up intact and carried it to a nearby fire station. The wall went put back up Tuesday at the station.
And now it's Thursday. Three months and a week after he vanished. It's Kyron's eighth birthday.
Still no resolution. Still no Kyron.