It's been a brutal nine months for the parents of Kyron Horman, the boy who disappeared from his Portland school last spring, but they are determined to keep the case fresh in the minds of Southern Oregon residents.
Desiree Young, Kyron's mother, likes to remind folks that her boy has strong ties to Medford, even though most of the media coverage has focused on the Portland area.
"He spent as much time (in Medford) as Portland," Young said from her west Medford home. "Which is why I believe it's important to get the word out down here."
To do this Young helped organize a women's roller derby bout at Roller Odyssey tonight in Medford.
The bout will feature skaters with the local Sis-Q Rollerz, the Mt. Shasta Rollers and the North Coast Roller Derby Tsunami Sirens.
A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the Multnomah County Sheriff Department's Kyron Horman Search Fund.
Kyron very much enjoyed the roller derby bouts he attended in Medford.
"It was one of our favorite things to do together," Young said.
Young said she and her husband, Tony Young, who is a Medford police detective, keep in regular contact with authorities in Multnomah County.
"They are still working very hard up there," Young said. "The mood is very positive."
Young said the FBI's decision to step up its involvement in the case is a valuable asset to search crews near Portland.
The FBI has dedicated six agents to the task force. In all, the investigation as cost about $1.4 million to his point, according to the Associated Press.
In late January, a large group of searchers combed the hills of northwest Portland hoping to find a trace of Kyron. Crews on horses and ATVs roamed the rural landscape to no avail.
In the meantime, Young has stepped up the pressure on Kyron's stepmother, Terri Moulton Horman.
Young believes Horman knows what happened to Kyron and is hiding the truth. Young said she has taken some heat for her vocal criticism of Horman, but she is willing to accept it.
"At this point, after nine months, I have to be direct," Young said. "I'm tired of waiting. I welcome (Horman) to come talk to me about what happened."
Horman has fled the Portland area and now lives with her parents in Roseburg. Young has since made trips to Roseburg to hang flyers bearing Kyron's picture. She also has implored Roseburg residents who see Horman on the street to ask about Kyron.
The case has garnered national attention and the Youngs have appeared on several major television shows to share their story and keep Kyron's face in the media. A Facebook page dedicated to Kyron has more than 86,000 "friends."
Young said the fourth of each month is a tough day, as are the many holidays Kyron's missed since his disappearance. The situation has made it impossible for the Youngs to enjoy a normal life.
"I think 'normal' was gone on June 4th," Young said. "You try to adjust but it just doesn't happen. I feel like a fish out of water almost every day."
Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471; or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.