DURANGO, Colo. - The La Plata County Sheriff's Office confirms to 7NEWS that they are looking for a killer in the death of missing teenager Dylan Redwine.
"This is an active homicide investigation," La Plata County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dan Bender told 7NEWS.
"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," Bender said.
Bender also said death by wild animals has also been ruled out.
Bender said officials have not identified anyone as a suspect. When asked if family members had been ruled out, Bender reiterated, "We have not labeled anyone as a suspect."
Dylan's remains were found during a five-day search this week of Middle Mountain Road, less than 10 miles from his father's home, where he reportedly disappeared. The bones were found in a drainage area, according to the La Plata County Sheriff's Office.
"During the search of Middle Mountain we found a variety of items, including bones, and those were sent to CBI, and they confirmed they were human remains," said Dan Bender, spokesman with the sheriff's office. "DNA testing confirmed they were Dylan."
"It's extremely difficult," Dylan's father Mark Redwine told 7NEWS by phone. "Based on the conversation I had with law enforcement yesterday, they've only found two percent - or approximately two percent - of his remains. That means there's 98 percent of my son still strewn about the countryside."
Bender said within 72 hours of Dylan's disappearance, investigators were treating the case as a possible criminal investigation.
"We’ve been pursing it almost from the beginning as either a kidnapping or homicide. We've been pursing that since late November. With the discovery of this body, it’s primarily a homicide investigation," Bender told 7NEWS.
Investigators have not disclosed what led them to that conclusion.
Middle Mountain is located north of and within sight of Vallecito Lake. The search area ranged from 8,000 to 11,000 feet in altitude and consisted of deep canyons and dense forest.
"I want to talk to them about going to the location so I can be close to my son, but I don't know the specific locations where the remains were found," Mark Redwine said, after explaining that his home faces Middle Mountain.
Dylan disappeared on a court ordered visit with his father during Thanksgiving. Dylan arrived at Durango-La Plata County airport on Nov. 18, 2012. Mark Redwine said he went to run errands the next day and when he came home, Dylan was gone.
Redwine contacted the Bayfield Marshal’s Office on the day of the disappearance to ask if anyone had seen Dylan, then contacted Dylan’s mother, Elaine Redwine, to ask if she had heard from the boy. Elaine contacted the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office at about 5:30 p.m. that day and reported that Dylan was missing from his father’s home in Vallecito.
When asked what he thinks happened to his son, Redwine said, “Everyone has a theory, but theories aren’t really important right now. We need answers. We need to know what happened and who’s responsible for this.”
Redwine told 7NEWS that he always suspected his former wife “had some involvement with this,” but he couldn’t prove it.
“Obviously, she hasn’t been shy about pointing her fingers at me,” he said.
When asked if he thinks investigators will be able to find the person responsible, Redwine replied, “I certainly hope so. I know that my son, Cory, my former wife and I all want to know that.”
Redwine said that his son was very much a peace keeper.
“He didn’t like the turmoil that was going on between his mom and me,” Redwine said. I think he struggled with that. He tried the best he could to love both of his parents equally. That’s what I remember most about him.”
Redwine said he tried to reach out to his former wife, but that it didn’t go well.
“This morning, I messaged her asking her to keep in mind that Dylan deserves a proper memorial and at some point we have to discuss and come to an agreement about where he’s going to be laid to rest.”
Dylan’s mom, Elaine, sent a brief statement to 7NEWS via email. She said Dylan’s death was a crushing blow to the entire family.
“While we have found him, we still don’t know what happened to him and are determined to find out,” her statement said. “While we continue to honor our sweet boy, Dylan, our next mission is to get justice for Dylan.”
A candlelight memorial to honor Dylan will be held Saturday night in Bayfield.
-- 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
- See a map of the locations related to the case:http://goo.gl/maps/Ns0lr)
View Dylan Redwine Case in a larger map