Hey everyone. I want to first start out by thanking two lovely ladies who have inspired me to expand my coverage of missing persons cases. Thank you to Kali P. and Lori H. For asking me to cover the DeOrr Kunz case in honor of the anniversary. So, with that, welcome to the new weekly feature on the blog, Missing Person Saturday. In honor of the 1st Missing Person Saturday, I am highlighting the Charley Project profile of DeOrr Kunz.
DeOrr Kunz was last seen on July 15, 2015 in Leadore, Idaho. At the time that DeOrr went missing he was 2 years old with blonde hair and brown eyes. He was 3’ tall and 28lbs. DeOrr would be 7 years old today. If you have any information about his disappearance, please contact the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 756-8980. Or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at (800) 843-5678 (1-800-THE-Lost).
Now let’s talk about this history of this case and the theories around it. Let’s start with current investigators and what they have to say about the case. Currently, the investigators have labeled Vernal Kunz (dad) , Jessica Mitchell (mom), Robert Walton (great grandfather), and Issac Reinwand (4th camper and guest of Walton) as uncleared persons of interest. This is different from the previous lead investigator who believed that the parents had something to do with what happened. The previous investigator felt that because the campground was an isolated spot with only one way in and out that DeOrr could not have been abducted without someone seeing it happen.
Police searched a 2.5mile radius around the campsite and found no clues about DeOrr’s whereabouts. There are various reasons why the original investigator believed the parents were involved which included ruling out abduction, ruling out wild animal attack and believing that DeOrr was never at the campsite. DeOrr was described as last wearing a camouflage jacket, blue sweatpants, and boots. The boot were three sizes too big, so the original investigators believed that if DeOrr had been at the campsite and taken (either by animal or human) that one of the boots would have been found. They also had zero witnesses outside of the group that could verify that DeOrr was at the campground at all.
The family has hired more than one private investigator. The original they hired has gone on record saying that he believes the parents had something to do with the disappearance. If you watch interviews of the parents, I will say that Vernal does interview better than Jessica. However, knowing that Jessica has other children that are older than DeOrr it doesn’t surprise me that she doesn’t interview well. Sometimes to be strong for your kids, you have to shut off part of yourself just to continue on. The only one from the campground that has presented a consisted story is Issac according to the one private investigator.
The most recent update I found was that a bone was found near where DeOrr. After sending the bone out for analysis, it was determined to be an animal bone. The parents are cooperative with authorities. The FBI is still working the case. The case is still actively open. So, I want to know what do you think happened to DeOrr? Do you think the parents had something to do with it? Do you think it was an accident? Do you think DeOrr was abducted? Or do you think he was taken by an animal?
I am a little jaded with my opinion on what I believe happened. Due to writing, reading, and listening to so much true crime, statistics tell me what the most likely scenario is. Plus, I have just watched a hometown case involving a 5-year-old boy, AJ Freund, play out with a disappointing outcome. I think if you look up that case you will know where I stand on this one. However, until there is concrete evidence of guilt, or motive, I plan to withhold judgement. All information I used for this article listed below at the bottom.
Tomorrow for the Spotcast Sunday feature, I am reviewing the comedy podcast, Wisecracks. Next week for the Missing Person Saturday feature, I am highlighting the Charley Project profile of Jean A. Johnson. Until then keep your eyes open while sleuthing the cases; Nerd out!
Argyle, A. (2020, March 22). The Disappearance of DeOrr Kunz Jr. Retrieved from Medium: https://medium.com/@adargyle/the-strange-disappearance-of-deorr-kunz-jr-e54d13567b59
CBS2 news staff. (2020, March 21). Bone found at campground not related to DeOrr Kunz, sheriff says. Retrieved from KMVT11: https://www.kmvt.com/content/news/Bone-found-at-campground-not-related-to-DeOrr-Kunz-sheriff-says-568996501.html
East Idaho News. (2019, July 10). DeOrr Kunz’s grandmother says today is a day that will ‘haunt the rest of our lives’. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1f8MquAlOE
Eaton, N. (2020, July 10). DeOrr Kunz vanished 5 years ago today. Here’s where the investigation stands. Retrieved from East Idaho News: https://www.eastidahonews.com/2020/07/deorr-kunz-vanished-5-years-ago-today-heres-where-the-investigation-stands/
Eaton, N. (2020, July 14). DeOrr Kunz went missing 4 years ago. Family says the day will ‘haunt the rest of our lives.’. Retrieved from Idaho Statesman: The Disappearance of DeOrr Kunz Jr.
Investigation Discovery. (2020). ID Now. Retrieved from Investigation Discovery: https://www.investigationdiscovery.com/tv-shows/id-now/full-episodes/deorr-kunz-a-toddler-vanishes
KTVB. (2019, July 19). KTVB Special Report: DeOrr Kunz Jr.’s parents speak candidly about their son’s disappearance. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ-fkvfDGnY
KTVB. (2020, January 22). KTVB General News DeOrr Kunz Missing 4 Years. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUndW0E-Z88
KVTB Staff. (2020, March 20). Sheriff: Remains found near where DeOrr Kunz Jr. was last seen are not human. Retrieved from KTVB7: https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/crime/sheriff-remains-near-where-deorr-kunz-jr-was-last-seen-are-not-human/277-a23d5914-9c14-454a-99a1-0378e7ae556c
Larsen, L. (2020, July 10). 5 year anniversary since DeOrr Kunz Jr. disappeared. Retrieved from Local News 8: https://localnews8.com/news/local-news/2020/07/10/5-year-anniversary-since-deorr-kunz-jr-disappeared/
LP, J. (2016, July 6). Missing Deorr Kunz Jr Case: Bombshell Interview with Lemhi County Sheriff. Retrieved from Court Junkie Podcast: http://courtjunkie.com/missing-deorr-kunz-jr-case-bombshell-interview-lemhi-county-sheriff/
LP., J. (2015, July 16). Idaho toddler DeOrr Kunz Jr. missing while camping with family. Retrieved from Court Junkie Podcast: http://courtjunkie.com/deorr-kunz-missing-idaho/
Maffucci, S. (2020, July 14). What Happened To Baby DeOrr Kunz Jr.? New Details On The Missing Idaho Toddler. Retrieved from Your Tango: https://www.yourtango.com/2019324272/what-happened-deorr-kunz-jr-missing-idaho-toddler
Paul, P. (2020, February 19). The tragic mystery of DeOrr Kunz: New TV special sheds light on disappearance of 2-yr-old boy four years ago and why he’s never been found. Retrieved from Meaww: https://meaww.com/idaho-toddler-de-orr-kunz-disappearance-mother-interrogation-footage-hln-real-life-nightmare
The Charley Project. (2017, May 24). DeOrr Jay Kunz Jr. Retrieved from The Charley Project: http://charleyproject.org/case/deorr-jay-kunz-jr
Travis, A. (2020, July). It’s Been Five Years Since Baby DeOrr Kunz Disappeared on a Camping Trip. Retrieved from Distractify: https://www.distractify.com/p/what-happened-to-baby-deorr
Williams, N. (2019, June 28). Campground where DeOrr Kunz Jr. went missing closed. Retrieved from Idaho News 6: https://www.kivitv.com/news/campground-where-deorr-kuntz-jr-went-missing-closed