IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - UPDATE 2/22/19 4:55 p.m.: Klein Investigations and Consulting released the following statement:
"This afternoon KIC Texas was noticed that with the exception of one Element of the Lawsuit filed against it - being Kunz v. Klein et.al. was dismissed. We would like to thank the court for listening to the arguments and ruling on the basis of law. We would like to thank our team of lawyers, Mr. Hans Mitchel and Steven Hart for their hard work. We would also like you the public to remember - DeOrr Kunz is missing."
New developments emerge in court on Thursday afternoon as family members of DeOrr Kunz Jr. are trying to clear their names in the case against the Texas investigator inches closer toward a possible trial.
The counsel representing the toddler's grandfather Dennis "DeOrr" Kunz announced their client died in January.
This means his son and DeOrr Kunz Jr.'s father Vernal, could now serve as the beneficiary of the contract that has been the center of this lawsuit against Texas investigator Philip Klein.
In a memorandum filed by the Kunz's attorneys, they claim there are 36-slanderous statements he made to the media about the Kunz family during the investigation, including accusations the family had been lying to investigators, hindering the search efforts.
Klein is the second investigator since the search started in 2015 to have taken on the case and then quit, citing the same accusations against both Vernal and the toddler's mom Jessica Mitchell.
The defense argues, the contract states Klein is allowed to talk to the media about the investigation, even stating Kunz had a chance to disagree with anything in the contract.
However, the defense says, Kunz never pushed-back on anything in the contract.
The plaintiff's counsel argues the contract holds Klein to keep his findings confidential between the investigation firm and the family involved in the contract.
If the judge ends-up ruling in favor of the motion for summary judgment, this could end the case, but court officials say, if not, it could go to trial sometime later this year.