VALLECITO, CO — On November 19, 2012, 13-year-old Dylan Redwine disappeared while staying with his dad, Mark Redwine, in southwest Colorado.
It was a court-ordered Thanksgiving visit, a condition of the notably nasty divorce and custody battle Mark had engaged in with Elaine Hall, his ex-wife and Dylan’s mom.
On the day Dylan vanished, Mark told police that he’d gotten up early to run errands and opted to let his son sleep in. Upon returning, Mark said, Dylan was gone.
For the next seven months, investigators combed through every possibility while Dylan’s loved ones continually held out hope for his return. All that ended on June 27, 2013, in the worst way possible.
A handful of Dylan’s bones turned up in the woods of Middle Mountain, about 12 miles away from his father’s house. Searchers also found a piece of Dylan’s shirt, one sock, and a shoelace.
Authorities continued to hunt for clues over the next two years. In the meantime, Elaine Hall expressed no doubt as to who she believed killed Dylan. Appearing on The Dr. Phil Show in May 2015, Elaine said of her ex-husband: “He murdered his son.”
In the course of the show, Cory Redwine, Dylan’s brother, backed up his mom. They also both stated that they believed Mark moved Dylan’s remains to the canyon-heavy Middle Mountain to more effectively conceal the boy’s body.
As the episode progressed, Mark called in and set off a firestorm.
Elaine asked Mark if he would be open to her going with the police to walk through his house and re-create the circumstances that led up to Dylan’s disappearance. She added: “That would be very helpful in the investigation.”
Taken aback, Mark replied:
“We’ve had every opportunity to get those things done before now and at this point I just don’t see the value in doing it. To be honest with you, I refuse to do that. I don’t owe the nation an explanation as to what I’m doing. Dylan is my son!”
Mark also refused to submit to a polygraph test.
Three months later, on August 19, 2015, the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office officially declared Dylan’s death a homicide. The police also named Mark Redwine as the only “person of interest” in the murder.
From there, Dylan’s parents took their hard feelings for one another to court. Elaine sued Mark for wrongful death. Mark countersued Elaine for “intentionally inflicting emotional distress” by making her accusations. Both cases got tossed out of court.
A 2016 search unearthed more “items of interest,” but has thus far led to no significant announcements, let alone an arrest.
Dylan Redwine would have turned 18 on February 6, 2017. Dozens assembled in Bayfield, Colorado, to remember him with a public celebration of his life. Mark Redwine did not attend. Elaine addressed the crowd with gratitude and also wrote on Facebook:
“Happy 18th birthday, my sweet, sunny son. I wish you were here with us to celebrate your birthday. Many will gather to remember you and your sweet self. I miss you more with each passing day. Thank you to everyone for helping us remember Dylan. Until we meet again please keep watching over us. I love you, Dylan Redwine.”
On June 5, Mark announced he would lead a “recovery search” for Dylan’s remains and other clues to be mounted from August 4 to August 11.
As he remains the sole person of interest in Dylan’s murder, a reporter asked Mark if this new effort is, at least in part, to clear his own name. Mark responded, “It’s not acceptable. We’re here five years later down the road, and [Dylan] is still unaccounted for. That is my motivation, to bring him home.”
Main photos: Dylan Redwine [La Plata County Sheriff’s Office]