Deep sadness and a sense of closure washed over the Pine River Valley on Thursday with confirmation that searchers had found remains of the body of Dylan Redwine in the mountains above Vallecito Reservoir.
“The whole seven months we have kept up hope for Dylan. This is closure,” said Anne Cooke, a Bayfield resident who has helped organize social-media updates and community events related to Redwine’s disappearance.
Talking about the news moved many to tears.
“We always just chose hope and faith,” said Ramona Nava, the mother of one of Redwine’s closest friends in Bayfield, Ryan Nava. “I don’t know if it was a coping mechanism or if it was true hope and faith. More than anything, that’s gone for Ryan.”
When he heard the news, her son dropped to his knees and cried, Nava said.
“It’s been hard,” 14-year-old Ryan Nava said. But the news brought a much-needed sense of closure.
“Everyone’s mind had wandered; it’s been seven months,” he said.
Ryan Nava said the news immediately caused Redwine’s close-knit group of friends to seek solace in each other.
“We all just wanted to be together just like it was in the beginning (when Redwine disappeared). Now it’s just one less (person) to hang out with,” Nava said.
Meanwhile, members of Redwine’s extended family are at a loss for what to say, said Kaitlynn Boldt, Dylan’s cousin who lives in the Colorado Springs area.
“Just a lot of pain. We can’t even explain what we’re going through,” Boldt said.
Community members who have poured hundreds of hours into search efforts, fundraising and community events related to Redwine’s disappearance said their goal now is to seek justice in the case.
“Dylan’s warriors are still in effect and will continue until justice is served and the person who has done this to him is sentenced,” said Lisa Bourque, a Vallecito resident who has helped maintain the Find Missing Dylan Redwine page on Facebook.
Since news broke that Redwine’s remains were found, more than 2,000 people from across the country and overseas have flooded the Facebook page to express their condolences.
“My heart breaks for the Redwine family. ... I have been checking this page for updates since day one & hoped they would find him alive & healthy. ... Prayers & thoughts are with his family & friends during this tragic time,” wrote one woman from New Jersey who identified herself as Katelyn Marie.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Herald Staff Writer Jordyn Dahl contributed to this report.