LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. - The coroner says her office has been unable to determine how 13-year-old Dylan Redwine died based on the remains recently recovered near the mountain town of Vallecito in southwest Colorado.
Last week, authorities announced DNA confirmed bones recovered during a five-day search in high, rugged terrain off Middle Mountain Road were Dylan's. They were found in a drainage less than 10 miles from his father's home, where he reportedly disappeared.
"So far, the items that have been found are not enough to make an actual cause of death or manner of death," La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith told the Colorado Springs Gazette. The manner of death is a ruling on whether a death is a homicide, accident or suicide.
"Until (the) investigation goes a little further, we may not know exactly what happened to Dylan," Smith added.
The La Plata County Sheriff's Office has not said what other items were found during the search, but they are treating the case as a homicide investigation.
"The information we have is there is no reason for Dylan to go to Middle Mountain and there is no indication he did it on his own," sheriff's spokesman Dan Bender said.
Sheriff's officials said last week that investigators spent four days thoroughly combing the area where the remains were found and they are confident they have retrieved all of the remains that were there.
Bender said there were a few sheriff's investigators on Middle Mountain Wednesday, but they were just doing follow-up work. All major searches in the area for any additional evidence or remains have been suspended.
The teen disappeared in November while visiting his father during Thanksgiving week. The boy's parents are divorced and Dylan, his mother and brother had moved to Monument.
Dylan's disappearance triggered widespread searches of La Plata County by law enforcement and hundreds of volunteers.
Early in the missing person case, investigators said they had determined that Dylan did not run away. Authorities have not explained how they reached that conclusion.
-- Case Timeline --
Nov. 18 - Dylan Redwine flies into Durango-La Plata County airport to spend Thanksgiving with his father
Nov. 19 – Dylan Redwine reported missing
Nov. 20 - Search teams start searching for Dylan
Nov. 24 – Search dogs pick up Dylan’s scent at Vallecito Reservoir
Nov. 25-26 - Dive teams and teams on boats equipped with sonar search Vallecito Reservoir
Nov. 28 – Authorities announce Dylan Redwine did not run away. Asking people who drove from Vallecito to Durango if they had spotted him
Nov. 29 – Authorities execute a search warrant at Mark Redwine’s home
Dec. 2 – Prayer vigil for Redwine at Lewis-Palmer Middle School
Dec. 4 – Both parents take polygraph tests
Dec. 5 – Pictures from a surveillance camera are released, showing Dylan at a Durango Walmart hours before he disappeared
Jan 24 – Reward for Dylan grows to $50,000
Jan 26 – Protestors show up at Vallecito Reservoir saying Mark Redwine needs to be more active in the search for his missing son
Feb. 23 – Cadaver dogs show up on iced-over Vallecito Reservoir
April 24 – Authorities drain part of reservoir and build berm dam to look at area where search dogs got numerous hits
June 25 – Authorities spend several days searching the steep and rugged Middle Mountain Road
- See a history of the search for Dylan Redwine in photos: http://ch7ne.ws/11QFGQg