A Roseburg woman dogged by questions about her missing stepson, Kyron Horman, failed Monday to change her name to escape notoriety.
Douglas County Circuit Judge Randy Garrison denied Terri Lynn Moulton Horman’s request to change her name to Claire Stella Sullivan.
Garrison agreed with four witnesses who argued it wasn’t in the public’s interest to let Horman change her name until Kyron Horman’s fate is known.
Kyron Horman, then 7 years old, went missing June 4, 2010, from Skyline Elementary School in Portland. Terri Horman dropped off Kyron at school that day and is believed to be the last person to see him.
The boy’s parents, Kaine Horman and Desiree Young, have said they suspect Terri Horman knows what happened to Kyron. No arrests have been made in his disappearance.
Terri Horman graduated from Roseburg High School in 1988 and has family in the area. She listed a Roseburg address in her petition for a name change.
She told Garrison a new name “would help to start over a new life without having the stigma of Horman attached to it.”
“My life has been threatened, as well as my older son’s,” she said.
Horman said she hasn’t been able to obtain employment for the last four years because of the negative publicity.
She volunteered at the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center but said that when she applied for a job she was turned down “because of who I am.”
Terri Horman said she waited to petition to change her name until June because she was wrapping up a custody case with her ex-husband over whether she should have parenting time or shared custody of another child.
A judge awarded custody to her ex-husband, but agreed to let Terri Horman have supervised visits with the girl.
Kaine Horman filed for divorce less than a month after Kyron went missing. The couple finalized their divorce in December.
Four people objected to Terri Horman’s name change and also testified.
The women, who are involved in search efforts, fundraisers and social media sites related to Kyron’s disappearance, said Terri Horman is trying to distance herself from the case.
“Kyron doesn’t have a voice. (Terri Horman) refuses to answer any questions about Kyron. I don’t understand how that’s fair,” said Vernice Porter, 36, of Roseburg.
“Why should she get to move on with her life? Everybody has a right to know who she is,” Porter said.
The protestors, who each took turns testifying, wore T-shirts that read, “Where is Kyron, Terri Moulton-Horman? AKA Claire Stella Sullivan. We know you know!”
Porter said she doesn’t have a direct relationship with Kyron or his biological parents but said she is “very interested” in this case. She told Garrison it seems like Terri Horman is trying to “escape.”
She said she believes Terri Horman is involved in Kyron’s disappearance and is changing her name out of guilt.
Stacy Green of Longview, Washington, said she felt the same way.
“Kyron don’t have a voice anymore. We are here to be his voice,” she told Garrison.
“She’s running from Kyron because she is afraid of what’s going to happen to her,” said Green, 34. “She’s not hireable because of what she did to a 7-year-old. ... She don’t deserve to even carry another name. Kyron trusted her. He loved her ... She hasn’t laid a finger to help that child come home.”
Green said she runs multiple Facebook pages about Kyron, and she does not condone anyone posting threatening messages toward Terri Horman.
Garrison asked Green what she thinks happened to Kyron.
“I think he’s dead. One hundred percent in my heart, I know she could answer that,” Green replied.
Green’s daughter, 17-year-old Briana Martinez, testified that even if Terri Horman changes her name, she can’t change who she is.
“It doesn’t change her face, the way she looks or what other people think of her,” Martinez said. “She can’t escape Kyron.”
A fourth protestor, Kim Garcia, 47, told Garrison she doesn’t think Terri Horman should be allowed to change her name until Kyron is found.
Horman declined to ask the protestors any questions about their testimony.
She later took the stand again and said “these people are completely and utterly misinformed” and that the women had “malicious intent.”
“I love my son. I want him found more than anything,” Terri Horman said.
She said her Portland defense attorney, Stephen Houze, who was not present, has proof she was not the last person to see Kyron but declined to answer further questions about the case without her lawyer.
Garrison said while he didn’t agree with all of the objections, he felt changing Terri Horman’s name wouldn’t be in the public’s best interest because of the ongoing case and denied her request.
After the hearing, Douglas County sheriff’s deputies escorted Terri Horman out of the courthouse.
The four protestors met her in the fourth floor lobby. They held a large picture of Kyron and repeatedly asked, “Where’s Kyron, Terri? Where is he?”
Terri Horman did not comment.
The group, and members of the media, followed Terri Horman out of the courthouse to a car parked out front. One of the women shouted “child killer” as she left in her vehicle.
Green said after that she felt “accomplished.”
“We were just sitting there preparing that he was going to grant it,” she said. “That was like a dream come true.”
All of the women said, “It was a win for Kyron.”
• Reporter Jessica Prokop can be reached at 541-957-4209 and firstname.lastname@example.org.