A community search for Dylan Redwine’s remains northeast of Vallecito Reservoir has been called off after his father’s arrest.
The eight-day search was scheduled to start Friday and conclude Aug. 11 on Middle Mountain, where some of Dylan’s remains were found in June 2013 and in November 2015.
Mark Redwine was arrested July 22 in Bellingham, Washington, on suspicion of second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death.
The search was being organized by Redwine and Shelly Watson of Texas, who met Redwine earlier this year while learning how to drive semi-tractor trailers. Redwine, a long-haul trucker, was Watson’s trainer.
In an interview Monday, Watson said she might reschedule the search if the need arises. For now, the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office said there is no need for additional searches.
Sheriff’s investigator Tonya Golbricht said Tuesday she is unaware of anyone planning a search later this week. But the Sheriff’s Office is prepared to assist if a search effort were to materialize.
In a previous interview with The Durango Herald, Watson said she learned of Dylan’s death about the third week of being on the road with Redwine. At the time, she doubted Redwine’s involvement, saying Dylan’s death seemed consistent with a wildlife attack, possibly a mountain lion.
The Sheriff’s Office had named Redwine a person of interest, but nothing about Redwine’s story or demeanor seemed overly suspicious to Watson, she said in May.
“I said, ‘Mark, I’m going to ask you one time: Did you kill your son?’ He said, ‘No, I didn’t kill my son. I don’t know what happened to my son,’” she said.
Watson said she asked Redwine why he hadn’t done more to search for his son’s remains, and Redwine told her it would look bad, especially if he found something, because people would say he knew where to look.
Watson agreed to be the point person for organizing a community search. Redwine said he most likely wouldn’t participate to avoid any suggestions that he pointed people in the right direction.
Watson said she has been harassed and threated on social media for her involvement. Her husband expressed concerns for her safety, she said.
“Things are way too crazy right now,” she said. “I don’t want to be stepping on any toes for them going up there and doing further searches on the mountain. ... It’s going to be postponed until the dust settles.”
The search was never about proving Redwine’s guilt or innocence; she said. Rather, it was about finding more of Dylan’s remains, which would give his family some peace of mind and possibly help investigators, she said.
“I give my condolence to the mother, to the brother in light of the situation and the new development,” Watson said. “I really do hope that this whole case can come to a close.”