STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald
About 20 people stood in a rain-snow mix and cold temperatures Saturday morning above Vallecito Reservoir to call on Mark Redwine to be more active in the search for his son, Dylan, who has been missing since just before Thanksgiving.
Dylan Redwine, 13, was reported missing from his father’s home on County Road 500 on Nov. 19. The boy had arrived the night before from his home north of Colorado Springs for a court-ordered visit.
In a telephone interview Saturday, Mark Redwine took exception to the portrayal of him as disengaged from the search for his youngest son.
“I do a lot of things on my own,” said Redwine, a truck driver. Among his other activities, “every time I get (back) into Durango, I talk to other truck drivers” to have them keep fliers in their rigs, he said.
That’s counter to what is being alleged by Dylan’s mother, Elaine, and people like Bayfield resident, businesswoman and Redwine family friend Denise Hess. Hess has helped lead the public effort to find Dylan.
Hess said Saturday morning that the demonstrators, were “hoping (Mark Redwine) will come out and participate.”
Hess claimed that Mark Redwine has been much less involved in the various public activities than have Elaine and Dylan’s older brother, Cory, not to mention law enforcement and the general public.
Yet Mark Redwine said his ex-wife and Hess actually have left him out of a number of events, sometimes not giving him enough notice to attend.
“It’s bizarre to me why Elaine and Denise would leave me out,” he said.
Redwine also claimed he was contacted by a woman who wanted to do a raffle to raise money for the Dylan Redwine reward fund, now $50,450, but Elaine Redwine and Hess turned down the offer.
“I’m just as much affected by this as these two,” he said.
Redwine said that law enforcement even suggested that the Redwines, divorced six years ago, get mediation so they can work together better to find Dylan. So far, he said, Elaine has not accepted.
Redwine said his ex-wife has contacted him using text messages.
“I’ve responded to every text message she’s sent me, but she won’t pick up the phone ... and talk to me,” he said.
The other reason for Saturday’s “walk” was to keep the search for Dylan in the news.
“I hate public speaking, and I hate cameras,” Hess said, “but I want to bring Dylan home,” a sentiment echoed by Cory Redwine, who also participated Saturday.
“We’re just trying to keep his face out there and just never let it die down until he comes home,” Cory Redwine, 21, said.
Several members of the group, who stood on the east side of the road across from Mark Redwine’s house, held handwritten signs directed at him.
“Why do you hide,” read one of the signs. Another read: “No walk! All talk! We all miss you Dylan.”
The “walkers” included Kathi Barry, a political blogger from Evergreen. She saw the notice about a missing boy less than two months after the abduction and murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway. Jessica was kidnapped on her way to school Oct. 5. Her dismembered body was found five days later in a field in Arvada.
Barry said she was bothered by Dylan’s disappearance and eventually decided she needed to come to the Western Slope to help. She has been to the area on weekends, has come to be close friends with Hess and gotten to know Elaine Redwine.
Of the latter, she said, “Every time I look at her, I cry because I can see the pain in her face.”
But Mark Redwine said he couldn’t understand Barry’s motivation for being so negative toward him, saying that she argues with anyone who doesn’t agree with her positions about what may have happened to Dylan.
Jenna How of Durango said she “has been following this from Day 1. They ran out of fliers during the first week, so I started printing for them.” How works for Xerox and has access to a printer.
She said her goal Saturday was to “bring more attention to Dylan, find out answers, bring him home.”
Cory Redwine said that he and his mother know just about as much now as they did at the beginning of the ordeal.
He said law enforcement has searched Mark Redwine’s house and have “gotten clues along the way,” but so far, they have not revealed anything significant to the family.
The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI met recently to review strategies as well as results from forensic tests by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, according to a news release from sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Dan Bender. No details were released.
Cory Redwine said his mother is hanging in there and staying tough, but she “is having as hard of a time as anybody, but she’s ... stronger than most. I’m proud to be her son.”
He also said his relationship with Mark Redwine has been rocky, but he believes Mark has some answers.
When asked why Mark was not helping as much as people think he should, Cory Redwine said, “I think he has a part in this. I’m not sure exactly to what extent, but if your son’s really missing, most people would be doing anything they could to bring him home, not avoid the situation.”
Cory said that Mark Redwine usually is not reluctant to be out front.
“If he thinks he’s right, he’ll do everything he can to be out front. He doesn’t back down when he’s in the right,” Cory Redwine said. “He’s laid low and hasn’t really done a whole lot.”
The senior Redwine said there is a “history” with Cory, but he said he thinks his son’s anger toward him is reflective of his mother’s hatred toward Mark.
Despite that remark, Redwine said, “I don’t fault her for finding someone to blame.”
Redwine also said that all the online speculation wasn’t helping the situation.
“There are too many people sitting at the computer trying to play Nancy Drew and Nancy Grace,” he said. “It’s not bringing us closer to finding Dylan.”