PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland School Superintendent Carol Smith spoke publicly for the first time since the disappearance of a Skyline Elementary School student at a scheduled 3:30 p.m. press conference Sunday.
“The reported disappearance from one of our schools is unprecedented,” she said, “and deeply troubling.”
As such, changes are being made in how the school treats visitors.
Beginning Monday, everyone entering Skyline Elementary School will be asked to sign in. A team composed of school security services, members of the teacher’s association and other related parties also will look into safety procedures for releasing children as they leave school.
As for Kyron Horman, missing since some time Friday morning, “we’re hoping for his safe return,” said Superintendent Smith.
Interviews with those who were at Friday’s science fair at Skyline Elementary School – where a 7-year-old student is believed to have disappeared – may have turned up at least one new piece of information.
In a press conference Sunday afternoon, a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office spokesman now says Kyron Horman was last seen at “a late hour in the morning.” This raises questions about the 8:45 a.m. time released by the Sheriff’s Office in its press release about this case. We are looking for further clarification into this statement.
The press release reported the boy’s stepmother walked through a number of classrooms with Kyron and last saw him around 8:45 a.m. Friday, walking down the hallway toward his Skyline second-grade classroom. The investigation has turned up that Kyron’s teacher marked him absent when he never showed up.
Even in Sunday’s rain students came by the car load to answer questions from authorities. Andrew Delzell was one of the students interviewed; he and Kyron are in the same math class.
“He doesn’t seem like the person that would want to run away,” Delzell told KATU Reporter Adam Ghassemi. “He’s a nice kid. He plays with his friends a lot. I’m not sure if he’d ever run away.”
Delzell’s mother, Kris Delzell, also was at Friday’s crowded science fair.
“It’s horrifying. It’s absolutely horrifying,” she said. “…The dogs and the rescue people are coming through my yard, because we live close to where they’re searching. FBI people are interviewing us and [there are] police cars. We’re very shaken up.”
Classes as usual on Monday
Investigators are hoping to paint a very accurate picture of what happened Friday, knowing Monday this campus will be full of people struggling to come to terms with Kyron’s disappearance. Classes at Skyline Elementary School are scheduled as normal for Monday.
“We’re asking them to really save their energy and focus on Monday,” said Portland Public Schools spokesman Matt Shelby, “because when those students come back tomorrow we’re going to need … their full energy to support those students.”
Those at this rural Northwest Portland school are ready for any clue as to what happened to a kid everyone says is “nice” and “always smiling.”
A school has set up a “Special Education Hot Line” to answer calls for those who need insight. That number is (503)-916-3931.