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Originally published Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 8:17 PM

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Missing 7-year-old's stepmother appears in court

The stepmother of a missing 7-year-old boy made a rare public appearance Wednesday when she attended a hearing in the divorce proceedings between her and the boy's father.

The Associated Press

PORTLAND — The stepmother of a missing 7-year-old boy made a rare public appearance Wednesday when she attended a hearing in the divorce proceedings between her and the boy's father.

Terri Horman, who is living with her parents in Roseburg, declined to speak with reporters before or after the hearing at a Multnomah County courthouse. Her husband, Kaine Horman, did not attend the hearing.

Terri Horman took Kyron Horman to school on June 4, the day he vanished, and was the last known person to see him. The disappearance prompted the largest search in Oregon's history.

Kaine Horman filed for divorce weeks later, saying investigators gave him reason to believe that Terri Horman was involved in the disappearance. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office has not publicly named her as a suspect or person of interest.

Wednesday's court hearing was largely procedural, with Judge Keith Meisenheimer setting a date for when two motions will be heard. One motion was requested by Terri Horman to delay divorce proceedings until the Kyron investigation is resolved.

Her divorce attorney said she is a "de facto" suspect, and therefore the focus, in the investigation of the boy's disappearance, making her "unable to proceed in the ordinary course to protect her rights as to discovery, property division, support and, particularly, custody and parenting time issues."

The couple's daughter, 21-month-old Kiara, currently is under the custody of Kaine Horman.

In the other motion, Kaine Horman seeks to have Terri Horman help pay his attorney fees. Laura Rackner, Kaine's lawyer, told the judge her client does not have unlimited savings and noted that Terri Horman was able to spend a reported $350,000 to retain the high-profile defense attorney Stephen Houze.

Bunch, Terri Horman's divorce lawyer, called the $350,000 figure inaccurate. He suggested the money came from a third party, and it will have to be determined whether it counts as a marital asset.

The judge set an Oct. 7 hearing for both matters.

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