It’s the kind of story you might see on a national network magazine show like Dateline, 20/20 or 48 Hours. Or even the multi-part documentaries you might binge watch on Netflix. A cold case following the disappearance of Deorr Kuntz Jr., a 2-year-old boy, while on a camping trip with his family in Idaho. A […]
It’s the kind of story you might see on a national network magazine show like Dateline, 20/20 or 48 Hours.
Or even the multi-part documentaries you might binge watch on Netflix.
A cold case following the disappearance of Deorr Kuntz Jr., a 2-year-old boy, while on a camping trip with his family in Idaho.
A real who-done-it mystery of a toddler who went missing without a trace.
What happened to him? Did an animal attack him? Was he abducted? Or did something else more sinister cause him to vanish?
(NOTE: All six episodes can be seen at the bottom of this column. Click on the Watch Now icon to select episodes.)
Some Tegna stations across the country are sharing the series, called an immersive video experience, on their digital platforms.
But the series first aired on television during KTVB’s newscasts in late February. KTVB is Tegna’s NBC affiliate in Boise, Idaho.
“When we first viewed it, it was so compelling,” said Lisa Chavez, KTVB’s news director.
“This was such an emotional story that we covered for years. The response is overwhelming.”
The station ran the entire six-part series over three days, airing segments in its 4 p.m. newscasts and the next segment in the 10 p.m. news.
“We actually had people in the community tell us that they were making an appointment with their TV to make sure they were home to watch.”
The story had been covered locally by KTVB’s reporter Kim Fields when it came to the attention of Jeremy Campbell, Tegna’s investigative reporter based in Atlanta at Tegna’s NBC affiliate there, WXIA.
Campbell was looking for powerful stories, cold cases that “had a mysterious, investigative element.”
Campbell says he’s received thousands of emails and comments on Facebook, some with tips about the disappearance.
“We’ve been vetting a lot of that. It’s certainly captivated people.”
Campbell says he’s currently editing the series to turn it into an hour-long special that will air on WXIA this Thursday night at 10.
“Tegna’s investigations are an important part of fulfilling our mission to serve the greater good of our communities,” said Adam Ostrow, Tegna’s chief digital officer.
“We’ve been experimenting with how, in addition to sharing these stories on-air, we can work with our journalists to create immersive digital experiences for stations to share with their audiences. Most importantly, we hope these efforts generate additional clues that could help solve the mystery of little DeOrr Kuntz Jr.”
Tegna has established a URL, Littlemanlost.com, where anyone can watch the six episodes along with other material like the reporters’ blogs, and additional pictures.
NOTE: This story has seen national attention including the cover story in People magazine in 2017.
This investigative series is extremely well done and compelling. Every episode is a cliff-hanger, forcing you to watch the next and the next.
As of right now, no new major developments have been released concerning the status of the case.
“We stay in touch with law enforcement and in our last check, the case is essentially frozen,” said Campbell.
Frozen until the snow melts on the campsite.