Sheriff on missing toddler DeOrr Kunz's parents: 'They know where he is absolutely'
LEADORE, Idaho (KBOI) -- The Lemhi County Sheriff's Office has officially named the parents of missing toddler DeOrr Kunz as suspects in the boy's disappearance.
Sheriff Lynn Bowerman told KBOI 2News on Monday that Jessica Mitchell and DeOrr Kunz Sr., have been "less than truthful" with investigators during recent interviews.
"They are the top persons of interests," Bowerman said over the phone. "Does that mean they're suspects? Yeah I think so."
The boy has been missing since July 10 after he was last seen at his family's campsite at Timber Creek Campground, just south of the town of Leadore near the Montana border.
Bowerman says the couple agreed to a polygraph test, but when asked if they knew where there son was, red flags were raised.
"They are being less than truthful," Bowerman said. "They know something, I just don't know what they know. It causes me alarm. I believe they know where he is absolutely."
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The sheriff said the investigation began to turn in the second week of January after the FBI and behavior analysts turned over their findings. Detectives brought them in yet again for follow up interviews and they continued with their story, the sheriff says.
"I thought I'd give them another opportunity to tell us what happened, " he said. "I decided it was time the public knew what my concerns were -- I don't believe we have an abducted child."
Bowerman said he's been asked numerous times whether he'll file charges against the parents. But he says it's just too early.
"I'm not willing to jeopardize the investigation and filing (charges) too early," he said. "I want to make sure I got this right.
The boy's aunt, Tanisha O'Neal Tompkins, told our media partner KIFI in an exclusive interview that both Kunz Sr. and Mitchell are innocent.
"They have no motive at all," O'Neal Tompkins said. "They would gain nothing out of doing anything. I just want people to not be judgmental anymore and until there's facts, just please be quiet."
Tompkins says the family knows just as much as the public does, and that they want answers first.
Bowerman has asked the public to come forward if they had ever noticed any strange behavior between the couple and their son before his disappearance.