It was the summer of 2015, two-year-old DeOrr Kunz Jr. was on a camping trip with his family at Timber Creek Campground in Lemhi County, Idaho. The trip soon took a turn for the worst when DeOrr vanished on July 10th, 2015.

There were four people at the campground with the toddler, all of them provided conflicting accounts to what happened that day. And since his disappearance, police haven’t found any trace of the boy, despite the countless searches over the years.

Investigators are left scratching their heads. Was he attacked by an animal? Abducted? Or did he drown in the river? Or maybe his parents had something to do with his disappearance.

The Events Leading Up To DeOrr Kunz Jr. Going Missing

Vernal DeOrr Kunz, his girlfriend Jessica Mitchell, and their two-year-old son, DeOrr Kunz Jr. lived in Idaho Falls, in 2015. In July, the couple decided to take DeOrr on a last minute camping trip to Timber Creek Campground in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

DeOrr’s great-grandfather, Robert Walton, and Walton’s friend Isaac Reinwand, joined the two. Reinwand had never met DeOrr or his parents before.

They embarked on the two hour drive to the campground, making one quick stop to a convenience store on the way. They arrived to the campground the evening of July 9th. DeOrr helped his parents set up the site and build the campfire, and soon the family went to bed.

The next morning, the family relaxed at the campground, then, for a brief window of time, they split up.

DeOrr’s mother told investigators that she asked her grandfather, Walton, to watch the toddler while she took a walk with Vernal.

But, Walton told police that she never heard Mitchell as him to watch the boy. He claimed that he was in the trailer relaxing alone when the boy vanished. Reinwand said that he went down to the nearby river to go fishing and that DeOrr wasn’t with him, either.

During this time, everyone went their separate ways, and the boy went missing.

A half an hour went by before anyone realized that the boy was missing.

Both of his parents called 911 on their cell phones around 2:30 PM. They told dispatchers that their son was wearing a camouflage jacket, blue pajama pants, and cowboy boots. They said that their happy “Little Man” never went anywhere without his blanket, sippy cup, or his toy monkey and all three of these were left at the campsite.

The authorities organized a search party, they combed Timber Creek Campground thoroughly for two weeks. But, DeOrr was nowhere to be found.

What Happened To DeOrr?

Even with several searches over the years, with ATVs, helicopters, horses, K9 units, and drones. DeOrr’s whereabouts remain a mystery. Three private investigators have been on the case, but nothing that might lead them to DeOrr has ever been found.

All four of the individuals who were with DeOrr on the day of his disappearance have been interviewed on a number of occasions, their stories didn’t match up.

Walton, intially claimed that he was in the trailer and never was with DeOrr. And he later admitted to seeing his great-grandson near the river, but when he looked away for a moment, DeOrr disappeared. Walton passed away in 2019.

There’s no concrete evidence that a crime was committed, and the boy’s parents repeatedly changed their accounts to what happened that day, this led the public to believe that the parents were hiding something and that they were responsible for their son’s disappearance.

“Mom and dad are being less than truthful,” Said Lemhi County Sheriff Lynn Bowerman, “We’ve interviewed them multiple times and every time there are changes to parts of the story, the little things all change every time we speak to them.”

Bowerman also added that Walkton and Reinwand cannot be ruled out as people of interest, because they were there that day, but there’s less reason to believe that they were involved in the little boy’s disappearance.

“I think mom and dad are higher on the list.”

Did His Parents Have Something To Do With His Disappearance?

In 2016, the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office named Vernal and Mitchell suspects in DeOrr’s case.

Private investigator, Philip Klein, was hired by the family to look into the case and even he concluded that Mitchell and Vernal had something to do with it.

Klein said that Mitchell and Vernal’s stories were alarming inconsistent. He also says that Vernal failed five polygraph tests when he was questioned about his missing son. Mitchell failed a total of four polygraph tests.

“In my 26 years, I’ve never heard of a person failing that bad,” Klein said.

He believes that DeOrr was either accidentally or intentionally killed, and claims that Mitchell knows where the little boy’s body is, but refuses to confess anything more.

The couple was evicted from their home in 2016 for failure to pay rent, they left a number of items behind, this included the camouflage jacket that DeOrr was allegedly wearing the day he went missing.

“All evidence leads to the death of DeOrr Kunz Jr. We do not believe a kidnapping or animal attack occurred – and all evidence supports this finding,” Klein said in a released statement in 2017.

The Search Continues

The mystery behind DeOrr’s disappearance remains unsolved. No arrests have been made and no one has been charged with a crime related to the case.

Vernall and Mitchell split in 2016 and Mitchell has gotten married since then, they both continue to deny that they have anything to do with DeOrr’s disappearance and they continue to maintain that they have no idea where he is.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released an age-progressed photo of DeOrr in 2017, they will continue to produce an age-progressed photo of the child every five years.

DeOrr is called “Little Man” by loved ones, and is described as a happy and curious boy. His family refuses to give up on finding him.

“We will do everything we can until the day we all die to find him,” Trina Clegg, his grandmother, said.

Those who were with DeOrr that day are either telling the truth that they truly do not know what happened to him or they’re keeping a disturbing secrets among themselves. Was he kidnapped? Lost in nature? Or a victim of foul play?

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