The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday it has identified Mark Redwine as a person of interest in the death of his son, Dylan, who was 13 when he died.
“That designation was based on evidence collected, inconsistent statements made by Mark Redwine and his behavior throughout the investigation,” sheriff’s office spokesman Dan Bender said in a news release Wednesday.
The case began with Dylan’s disappearance in November 2012 during a court-ordered visitation with his father for Thanksgiving, and it led to the discovery of some of his remains in June 2013. It has garnered national media attention and inspired a widespread social-media presence, much of it accusing Mark Redwine of his son’s death.
The sheriff’s office also said that as part of its investigation, Dylan’s mother, Elaine Hall; brother, Cory Redwine; and Hall’s husband, Mike Hall; have been cleared of any involvement in Dylan’s disappearance and death.
Neither Elaine Hall nor Mark Redwine could be reached for comment.
Dylan’s partial remains were discovered on Middle Mountain near his father’s Vallecito home. The sheriff’s office is planning another search of the area in early to mid-September, Bender said.
Bender said he was unable to give any information beyond what was included in the news release issued Wednesday.
The sheriff’s office also announced Wednesday that the coroner is reclassifying Dylan’s manner of death to homicide, after it was previously listed as undetermined.
La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith declined to comment about amending Dylan’s death certificate, citing the pending investigation.
Person of interest is a term law enforcement uses to describe someone involved in a criminal investigation who has not been arrested or formally accused of a crime. It does not mean Mark Redwine will be arrested or prosecuted for his son’s death. Prosecutions are a responsibility that falls on 6th Judicial District Attorney Todd Risberg’s office.
“The case and the investigation are still open at the sheriff’s office,” said Assistant District Attorney Christian Champagne. “It hasn’t been handed over to us to determine if we can prosecute.”
Denise Hess, one of the community members who helped organize the search for Dylan, said the two announcements are an important step.
“For a lot of us who have followed this, not just me, but people in the community and even worldwide who felt Mark had something to do with hurting Dylan,” she said, “we don’t look like we’re just crazily trying to accuse him, but that there’s actually some basis to our opinion.”
Like others, she has questions about what this means.
“They have not yet named him as a suspect, and we hope that happens sooner rather than later,” Hess said. “The bigger step is the change on the death certificate to homicide – that’s huge.”
The timing for the next steps is uncertain right now, Champagne said.
“There’s nothing set,” he said. “No set time, no set timeframe or timeline for this. It’s a very complicated case, and they’re treating it with the utmost top priority. The more investigation they do, the better the case will be.”