When seven-year-old Kyron Horman disappeared from his Oregon elementary school on June 4, 2010, police and his family launched a massive search. Now that speculation has begun to focus on his stepmother, 40-year-old Terri Horman, the case has some similar elements to the 1992 eastern Kentucky case of Scotty Baker, age 10.
On November 25, 1992, a dark-haired woman arrived at Paces Creek Elementary School in Manchester to check Scotty out for the day. He did not recognize the woman, who told him she was picking him up for his father.
The dark-haired woman was actually Susanne Baker, the best friend of Scotty’s stepmother Stephanie Spitser. Baker, who was in fact not related to Scotty’s family, told the school officials that she was his cousin, so they let her leave with the boy. Spitser, age 22, was waiting for the pair in the back seat of Baker’s car. Spitser, who was pregnant at the time, hid herself under sheets so that Scotty would not see her. After Baker drove onto a deserted road, Spitser emerged from hiding and grabbed Scotty, strangling him to death in the back seat.
The two women burned Scotty’s body and dumped it at an old strip mine. When Scotty did not return home, his mother Ruth contacted police, and the FBI was called in. Spitser failed two lie-detector tests and the FBI began to pressure Baker. After six days, Baker confessed to the crime. Spitser, she said, was jealous of Scotty’s relationship with his father, with whom Spitser was having marital problems. Despite wearing a black wig into the school to pick Scotty up, Baker claimed to have no prior knowledge of Spitser’s plan to kill the boy.
Baker was sentenced to 25 years in prison and was released in 2008 after serving 15 years. Spitser received two life sentences-one for murder and one for kidnapping-and is still incarcerated.
Both Scotty Baker and Kyron Horman disappeared from their elementary schools. Both were last seen by their stepmothers, although this fact did not come out for nearly a week after Scotty’s disappearance. Spitser aroused FBI suspicions by failing two lie detector tests; Terri Horman has reportedly been scheduled for a second lie detector test.
As the search for Kyron Horman continues, his family and friends hope for a positive outcome, unlike the one in the Baker case. If you have any information on the Kyron Horman case or you were at Skyline Elementary School in Portland, Oregon between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM on June 4, 2010, please call the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 503-261-2847.