Deorr Kunz Jr. Disappearance Case – Latest Update


A mother’s call to 911 about her missing two-year-old son, Deorr Kunz Jr., is a heartbreaking end to a family camping trip at the Timber Creek Campground, which is located about ten miles west of Leadore, Idaho. Their son has gone missing, and it’s a terrible time for the whole family.

Families who have had a child go missing for an extended period of time may spend years, if not decades, trying to piece together what happened to them. When there is little evidence, however, it is very difficult to draw a decision and discover a remedy.

One of the most tragic and puzzling endings belongs to the case of Deorr Kunz Jr., who has been missing for seven years.

Deorr Kunz Jr. Disappearance Case - Latest Update 2022

Officials and the parents’ former private investigator have made repeated attempts over the years following the incident to paint the parents as suspects.

However, the amount of evidence collected thus far is quite low, and neither parent has come forward to claim responsibility for the crime. Deorr Kunz Jr.’s disappearance has caused widespread concern because his family has gradually become estranged from the once-adoring neighborhood.

What happened to Baby Deorr Kunz Jr.?

A mystery that has investigators baffled and grieved the victim’s loved ones.

Deorr Kunz Jr., 2, of Idaho Falls, disappeared on July 10, 2015, while camping with his parents, Jessica Mitchell and Vernal Deorr Kunz Sr. in the Timber Creek Campground, 10 miles from Leadore (east of Challis), Idaho.

Robert Walton, Deorr Kunz’s great-grandfather, and Jessica’s grandfather were accompanied on their journey by Isaac Reinwand, a family friend of Walton’s.

The family fishing trip ended around 2:40 p.m. when Deorr Kunz failed to return. As mentioned by other family members, Mitchell and Vernal’s choice to take them camping that day was entirely impromptu, as was the ensuing fishing expedition. The decision to go exploring in the woods doomed them to failure.

Jessica and Vernal informed police that they had suspicions that their son’s great-grandfather was keeping an eye on him as the family camped at Timber Creek. His great-grandfather, though, thought the young man was with his parents and Isaac at the brook. Deorr Kunz wore blue pyjama bottoms and a camouflage jacket when he vanished.

The investigation was prompted by the parents’ separate 911 calls, interviews with the parents and the child, and other evidence; nonetheless, it has so far produced more questions than answers.

Since then, Deorr Kunz has vanished without a trace, and no one has been held responsible for his disappearance.

Lynn Bowerman, the former sheriff of Lemhi County, made the identification of Mitchell and Kunz Sr. as suspects in January of 2016, but neither man was ever brought to justice. Very little, if any, evidence existed to support the idea that they were criminals.

The parents’ position from the start has been that they have no idea what happened to their son. Reinwand and Walton both told police they had no idea where the boy was when they were questioned. This past June, Walton passed away.

Except for the ongoing legal struggle between the family and a private investigator, the matter has been relatively quiet in the media for the previous few months.

After months of examination at the FBI office in Quantico, Virginia, it was announced in June 2019 that a bone found at the campsite in June 2019 was from an animal and had no connection to the missing youngster.

Lemhi County Sheriff Steve Penner has stated that the investigation into the homicide is still active and ongoing. Steve Penner, who ran for and was elected sheriff of Lemhi County in 2017, is now leading the inquiry. Additionally, he fills the role of sheriff in Lemhi County, which had been held by Lynn Bowerman until his retirement.

Deorr Kunz’s Arrival at the Timber Creek Campground

As soon as Mitchell, Vernal, and Deorr Kunz got to the campsite, they began setting up chairs and building a fire in the fire pit. Walton went to the trailer and relaxed inside while pretending he forgot to lock the door.

According to Issac Reinwand, who claims to have arrived shortly after Deorr Kunz went missing, he left almost immediately to go fishing in a nearby creek.

According to Mitchell, after Jessica and Vernal had completed their tasks, Jessica yelled to her grandfather that they were leaving Deorr Kunz behind so that they could go on an adventure.

Mitchell asserts this. In contrast, Walton said he was oblivious to his role in the boy’s care and that he had never heard Jessica’s call. Moreover, he insisted that he had no idea that he was the one accountable for the youngster. After hearing the news, the family discovered that Deorr Kunz had been missing for thirty minutes.

Lemhi County Sheriff Lynn Bowerman said that Jessica and Deorr Kunz Sr. were leaving the campsite to go fishing with Reinwand in a nearby stream. At all times during their conversation with the trio, Deorr Kunz Jr. was right there with them.

When Deorr Kunz Jr. was two years old, his parents asked him if he would rather hang out with his grandfather or go fishing. According to reports, the kid then began making his way back to Walton. It turned out to be the last time anyone had seen him alive.

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Later, Walton said that he had spotted his grandson by the creek, but that he had forgotten about him for a second. Looking back, he saw that Deorr Kunz Jr. was no longer present.

 The hunt for Deorr Kunz

Multiple thorough searches of the hilly terrain, including the open meadows, the deep pine forests, and the streams, have been done since the youngster went missing weeks and months ago.

For a period of years, people from various Search and Rescue teams rode horses, hiked, and drove ATVs into the remote campground (ATVs). Searches have been flown in from the sky using helicopters and UAVs.

The area near Stone Reservoir and Timber Creek, which are both close to the campsite where he was last seen, has been narrowed down as the focus of the search with the use of advanced search teams and K9 dogs.

Despite the efforts of three private detectives who have looked into the matter, no hard evidence of Deorr Kunz’s location has been offered.


A forty-minute drive along the highway brought the gang to the Stage Shop, a convenience store in Leadore. The clerk at the convenience shop reportedly spotted Mitchell and Kunz Sr. with their son.

But when pressed further, the clerk insisted that she’d seen a blonde youngster at 6:00 p.m. that same day, contradicting the parents’ reported time of 1:00 p.m. to the police. Vernal Kunz’s later assertion that the clerk was “mistaken” has been questioned. 

Controversy in the Kunz Case

When the accounts of both sets of parents were reviewed, it was immediately apparent that there were major disparities.

After the discrepancies in the claims became public knowledge, officials said that both parties had refused several offers to undergo a polygraph test. In January of 2016, as a direct result of this, both Mitchell and Deorr Kunz Sr. were listed as suspects in the inquiry.

family people, he couldn’t keep his boots on his feet. It was widely believed that, in the event of his kidnapping or attack by an animal, Deorr Kunz’s captors would have removed his boots. Yet, the boots have yet to materialize.

Although some flimsy evidence has been uncovered, neither parent has taken responsibility for the crime. Deorr Kunz Jr.’s disappearance into obscurity has left his erstwhile admirers and friends wondering why his family has grown increasingly estranged from the area.

Suspicion attached against Jessica and Deorr Kunz Sr.

Their residence had to be abandoned after they got a divorce and Jessica remarried shortly thereafter. Investigators were able to seize all of the hidden evidence, including the jacket that Deorr Kunz Jr. was last seen wearing the day he disappeared.

After that, authorities suspected murder had taken place. Jessica and Deorr Kunz Sr. appear to still be under investigation, although no arrests have been made at this time.

Now, then, what happened? Can it be that young Deorr Kunz wandered off into the woods and was eaten by a wild animal? There’s also the possibility that Deorr Kunz fabricated his participation in the camping excursion.

The parents were perplexed since they couldn’t find any evidence that their son had been at the scene, including fingerprints, blood, or DNA, and the jacket he was undoubtedly wearing, which was safely stored in their apartment. There’s more and more evidence piling up against the parents.

Lynn Bowerman argued that the children should be informed that their parents are lying to them before deciding whether or not to donate blood. We’ve had multiple conversations with them, and every time there are discrepancies between their stories.

The slightest elements of our conversations with them are always different from the last time we spoke. We reinterviewed them and discovered they still weren’t willing to tell us the truth. I would put Mom and Dad higher on the list of people of interest than Robert and Isaac, but we can’t rule them out just yet because they were present at the incident.

Investigation by Klein

The family originally retained the services of Klein Investigations and Consulting, a private investigation agency, but eventually decided to part ways. The company’s CEO, Philip Klein, said that his team of detectives had ruled out kidnapping and animal attacks as possible causes of the victim’s injuries. The evidence will take us to the truth, Klein is reported to have said.

The public needs to know that we are making headway toward our objective, and we want to reassure them that this is the case. The attorney for Mitchell and Deorr Kunz Sr. strongly refutes Klein’s claim that a member of Deorr Kunz’s extended family had rehired him to investigate the issue.

Mitchell and Kunz decided to fire him and then attempted to sue him after he stated his opinion on the matter. At least three of their lawsuits have been thrown out, with KIC coming out on top each time. The lawsuit was settled in October of 2019.

These lawsuits arose from claims that Klein had been careless in his interactions with the media, particularly by making defamatory statements against the parents that had an adverse effect on the inquiry.

According to Klein, the investigation was “a terrible example of ‘deflection’ of an event that in our perspective was most definitely an accident and coverup.” Klein described the investigation as “a horrible example of deflection of an occurrence.”

Deorr Kunz Jr. Disappearance Case - Latest Update 2022

Moreover, he claims that while the police may have a hunch as to “how” Deorr Kunz died, they have no idea what led to his untimely demise. In his mind, the mother was the one who orchestrated the whole scheme to hide the truth. Klein argues that she is just as capable of perpetrating such a horrible crime as Vernal was, despite her admission to the public that she believed Vernal was capable of injuring their child.

The family has now lost their second investigator in as many years, and like the first, Klein seems to have reason to suspect the parents. Klein is convinced that an accident caused Deorr Kunz’s death and that someone then tried to cover it up.

The result of the Deorr Kunz Disappearance

Jessica Mitchell and Vernal Kunz broke off their engagement not long after their son went missing, and both later remarried and left the state.

When the parents were evicted from their shared apartment for failing to pay their rent in a timely manner, the landlord who was still residing there provided access to the property to investigators. Both parents said their son was playing with a collection of toy cars when he vanished; once inside, they found the missing camouflage jacket among the toys.

In addition to the toys and the jacket, a friend of the family used a credit card to make “apparently purchases of items unknown to investigators in testimony.” An insurance tracking device and its accompanying instructions were also included in a separate box.

The campground was one of five places in 2016 when cadaver dogs were sighted. At the crime scene, no more evidence was found.

In April of 2019, David Marshburn, a new private investigator, joined the effort to locate the missing person. Aside from helping to establish the Search For Me Foundation, he is also cooperating with investigators.

In November 2019, HLN’s Real Life Nightmare series reexamined the case and showed new material, including hours of taped conversations with the victim’s loved ones. The case was the subject of a documentary named Missing 411, filmed by David Paulides and released in 2019. The film featured interviews with key members of the investigating team.

In March of 2020, it was ruled that a tiny bone found at the Timber Creek Campground did not belong to Deorr Kunz. In June of 2019, Sheriff Steve Penner found a bone and sent it to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia. “Preliminary testing couldn’t rule out it being human,” he said, “but studies at Quantico found no human DNA on the bone.” The findings at Quantico contradicted these findings. The bones most certainly belonged to some kind of animal.


A son, Deorr Kunz Jay Kunz Jr., was born to Jessica Mitchell and her fiance, Vernal Deorr Kunz Sr., on December 30, 2012, in Idaho Falls. His loved ones referred to him affectionately as “Little Man.” He had an ordinary passion for life but an extraordinary zeal for it, and he was an inquisitive, amusing, and eager youngster.

The decision to go camping seemed to come out of the blue for Mitchell and Vernal on July 10, 2015. They already shared a home with her grandfather, Robert Walton, so she would just invite him to visit. Issac Reinwand, another friend of Walton’s, denied ever having met the couple or Deorr Kunz before this trip. Also, Deorr Kunz was emphatic that he and Reinwand had never met.

The five travelers piled into a truck towing a camper and headed for Leadore. About two hours passed throughout the journey. Rather than staying at the campground, they drive another forty minutes to Leadore, where they stop at the Stage Shop. The clerk at the Stage Shop allegedly spotted Mitchell and Kunz with their son.

The Final Verdict

Idaho boasts a broad array of natural settings, from breathtaking mountain ranges to sun-baked deserts, making camping one of the state’s most popular pastimes. For this reason, outdoor activities play a key role in the daily routines of Idahoans.

When tragedy strikes during a family camping trip in Idaho, though, the vast wilderness quickly becomes a curse rather than a boon. There are almost 35 million acres of public land in Idaho, making it seem like the ideal vacation spot.

Time has passed since Deorr Kunz Jr., supposedly on a journey, vanished. Communities and individuals who cared deeply about Deorr Kunz yet remain hopeful that she will be located and that justice will be done. This is so because they are always backed by hardworking researchers like Phillip Klein.