PORTLAND -- The judge in the civil lawsuit involving the disappearance of Kyron Horman was expected to delay those proceedings against Terri Horman as the criminal investigation moves forward, a source told KGW Tuesday.
The source said that the civil case will be delayed for nine months after affidavits were filed by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney. But the contents of those affidavits remained sealed.
"Premature disclosure of the information contained in these documents could jeopardize that ongoing investigation," said D.A. Michael Schrunk. "Sealing these documents is in the best interests of justice, will preserve the integrity of the investigation, and will promote the safety of the witnesses involved."
Background: Kyron's mom files $10M civil lawsuit
Desiree Young, Kyron's mother, filed the $10 million civil case against Horman on June 1, in connection with the boy's disappearance two years earlier. Horman's attorneys responded by filing a motion to delay the civil case for two years. That request was rejected by the judge.
But this time, at the request of police and prosecutors, the judge agreed to put the case on hold.
"It may be that they are actually stepping up their investigation again and are concerned that something in the civil case may interfere with or disrupt the criminal investigation," explained Lewis & Clark Law Professor Tung Yin.
Kyron was 7 when he vanished after a science fair at Skyline Elementary School in 2010. Horman was his step-mother at the time and was questioned on multiple occasions by investigators, but never arrested.
Young said that she decided to pursue the civil case in an effort to try and get Horman to tell investigators what happened to Kyron because she believes Terri kidnapped him.
Professor Yin explained that the civil case could have pressured Horman to testify, but anything she said could also be used against her in the criminal case. Young's attorney said the lawsuit would enable him to subpoena witnesses, acquire documents and evidence and "peel away the mystery" of what happened to Kyron.
The civil lawsuit asked the court to compel Horman to disclose Kyron's location. It also included two claims: One for custodial interference and one for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Timeline: The Search for Kyron Horman
Young said she believes the criminal justice system will do its part, but until then she was filing a lawsuit against Horman.
"I don't want Terri's money. I want Terri to face justice," she said. "Through this process, I hope to compel her to face responsibility for what she has done."
Complete Coverage: The Search for Kyron Horman
His stepmother, Terri, was the last person to have seen him, investigators said. Horman has retained a lawyer for nearly two years and has refused to talk with detectives since then.
Nobody has been named a person of interest or a suspect in the case, but Young and Kyron’s father, Kaine Horman, have both said they believe Terri was behind his disappearance.