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DeOrr Kunz Jr. Timeline

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Friday, July 5 is the five year anniversary of one of the most heartbreaking mysteries in the state of Idaho. The disappearance of 2-year-old DeOrr Kunz Jr.

Linda Larsen takes a look back at the case and tells us what is happening today.

The cold case is heating up again.

The sheriff's office is confirming that a recent search may shed new light on the tragedy.

It has been five years since little DeOrr Kunz Jr. disappeared while camping with his family.

Five years of not knowing what happened.

Five years of searching

Five years of hoping.

But the case is as much of a mystery today as it was five years ago.

Frantic searches started within hours of that 911 call with more than 170 volunteers and trained rescue teams trying to find the toddler, but no trace was ever found.

On July 9, 2015 DeOrr's parents Vernal DeOrr Kunz and Jessica Mitchell decided to take a last-minute camping trip to the Timber Creek Campground in Lemhi County. Also on the camping trip was DeOrr's great-grandpa Robert Walton and his friend Issac Reinwand.

The next day, the parents say they left little DeOrr with his great-grandpa playing at camp while they went fishing.

The toddler was never seen again.

We talked to Sheriff Steve Penner about the case, and he says the case is not closed, in fact, far from it.

Just last month the Lemhi County Sheriff's Office had cadaver dogs at the campground, and again they had a hard hit on a previously searched area by the creek.

Sheriff Penner says they are just waiting for the water levels to drop, and then they will go in and do an extensive search on their hands and knees if necessary to comb through everything to try and find even the smallest of clues.

He says they won't give up.

The bizarre case drew national attention with everyone praying for the safety of little DeOrr but also pointing to the parents as possible suspects.

Former Lemhi County Sheriff Lynn Bowerman named them as suspects but never filed charges.

Sheriff Penner says they are only persons of interest in the case.

Two other private investigators have worked on and left the case because of their concerns over the parent's involvement.

The case now has a new private investigator David Marshberg with the Search for Me Foundation.

"When you work these cases you have to really concentrate on what is fact and what is fiction. I mean everyone has their own say in what happens I can pretty much say in what we've done I can 100 percent say don't believe the parents had anything to do with it," he said.

Since then, DeOrr's parents who were engaged at the time have gone their separate ways but still insist they had nothing to do with the disappearance of their little man.

Five years later, the question still unanswered. What happened to baby DeOrr?

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Linda Larsen

Linda Larsen

Linda is an anchor and reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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