The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office has spent more than $1 million searching for a Portland boy missing since June, and the costs played a major role in the decision to reorganize the search team into a smaller task force, Sheriff Dan Staton said Wednesday.
The group will consist of eight to 10 members of law enforcement from Portland metro area agencies, he said. Staton said he didn't yet know which agencies would dedicate investigators to the Kyron Horman case.
Kyron, 8, has been missing since June 4, when his stepmother, Terri Horman, dropped him off at a science fair at his elementary school. She was the last person known to have seen him.
Staton refused to say on Wednesday that the investigation is being scaled back, and said that despite the financial concerns of the sheriff's office, the investigation would naturally be trimmed down to a task force at this point.
"I don't want the words scaling back to be used in this process," Staton said. "We are not scaling back. What we have been doing is closing doors in this investigation. Now we have target areas we need to concentrate our efforts in."
But Staton said the drain on his department — and its budget — has played a role in the decision to reorganize the investigation.
"The commitment we have to the community has suffered because of what has been dedicated and how we work with this investigation, clearly," Staton said. "We've got to pick up business in what is expected of us in the community."
Staton reiterated that the investigation has been successful so far, and said he wishes he could tell the public some of the information his detectives have learned.
Since the boy's disappearance, Kaine Horman has filed a restraining order against Terri Horman after investigators told him she conspired to have him killed in late 2009.
Terri Horman is not a suspect in Kyron's disappearance, nor has she been named a person of interest, but investigators have focused on her whereabouts on the day of Kyron's disappearance.