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Get to know those that have worked on the case and those that still do

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1st Sheriff Lynn Bowerman

Lemhi County Sheriff Lynn Bowerman announced that Jessica Mitchell and DeOrr Kunz Sr. are suspects in their son, DeOrr Kunz Jr.’s disappearance, according to multiple reports. Bowerman told CBS affiliate, KBOI that the parents of the two-year-old have been “less than truthful.” “They are the top persons of interest,” Bowerman told the station. “Does that mean they’re suspects? Yeah I think so.” The toddler went missing in early July during a camping trip with his family. The parents realized he was gone after they went exploring, believing that their son was with his grandfather – who believed he was with his parents. Following his disappearance, the family spent days searching, but were unable to find any trace of the boy. Sheriff Bowerman now believes that the parents know exactly what happened to DeOrr. “They are being less than truthful,” he added. “They know something, I just don’t know what they know. It causes me alarm. I believe they know where he is, absolutely.” The Sheriff said that officials became suspicious after behavior analysts returned their findings, which reportedly included inconsistent stories and failed lie detector tests. “We first became real suspicious of mom and dad after their initial polygraph tests, taken several weeks after DeOrr went missing,” Bowerman told NBC Dateline. “Then when the FBI handed over their reports and interviews, that’s when we made the decision to inform the public.” While Bowerman told KBOI that he believes the parents played a role in their son’s disappearance, he clarified that he no longer thinks “we have an abducted child,” but is not yet “willing to jeopardize the investigation and file charges too early.” Officers have not confirmed whether or not they believe the toddler is dead or alive, but, according to the Idaho State Journal, a private investigative firm hired by the family said that their findings lead them to believe DeOrr is dead. Bowerman asks anyone with information to call the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office at 208-756-8980.


2nd Sheriff Steve Penner

Lemhi County Sheriff Chief Deputy Steve Penner is the lead Investigator on this case. He told the East Idaho News that “There are some areas now that I think we can be pretty certain where DeOrr is not,” said Penner. “In this line of work you try not to have expectations. You just keep working at it and hopefully you can bring it to a conclusion, but I did not think we'd be here.” But Penner says someone who was there when the boy went missing knows more than they're letting on. “We have been working really hard for years on the searches, interviews, investigations and running down leads. We haven't been able to clear any of those people that were in the campground with him when he went missing,” said Penner. Penner likes to use the word POI, rather than the word Suspect.

Lemhi Sheriffs Website

​​Phone: 208-756-8980

​Office Hours:
7:00 am - 5:00 pm Mon-Fri

​Lemhi County Sheriff's Office
206 Courthouse Dr.
Salmon, ID 83467

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