FARMINGTON — Investigators say a crime is the reason Dylan Redwine vanished.
Dylan, 13, has been missing since Nov. 19. His father, Mark Redwine, said he last saw him at 7:30 a.m. when he left Dylan home alone while he ran errands. Mark Redwine lives in Vallecito, northeast of Durango.
Dylan had arrived in Durango to see his dad for a court-ordered visit the day before his disappearance. He grew up in Bayfield and moved to Colorado Springs last summer to live with his mom and brother.
Dan Bender, a spokesman for the La Plata County Sheriff's Office, said investigators from the beginning had considered the possibility that a crime was the cause of Dylan's disappearance.
“We've looked at the criminal aspect early on, since the second day he was missing,” he said.
As days went by with no sign of Dylan, investigators ruled out that he ran away.
“We're left with kidnapping and foul play,” Bender said.
The sheriff's staff searched Mark Redwine's home last Thursday. The sheriff is not calling him a suspect or discusszing details about the search, Bender said.
Since the warrant was served, the search for Dylan has pared back as far as the numbers of law enforcement
officers working
the case.
But dozens of investigators from the La Plata County Sheriff's Office, Durango police, the FBI and other agencies continue to investigate tips each day, he said.
He said officials had no plans to call off the search.
“We will continue to investigate as long as we have leads,” Bender said.
Dylan's disappearance is as rare as it is mysterious. It has been more than 25 years in the Four Corners since a child of Dylan's age disappeared without a trace and was never found.
“It's not something any of us could forget,” said San Juan County sheriff's Lt. Cory Tanner.
The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children keeps records of all missing children in each state.
The only minor from San Juan County who vanished and has not been found was Tiffany Reid, who was 17 when she disappeared on her way to school in Shiprock in May 2004.
Reid had a history of running away from home, according to the website.
The only southwestern Colorado child who disappeared and was never found was Christopher James Harvey. He was 14 when he vanished in 1984 from his family's summer home in Hinsdale County, which is 17 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs.
Never has a missing child not been accounted for in the Four Corners region of Arizona and Utah.
Children run away from home on a regular basis and are sometimes gone for long stretches, Tanner said. But the cases have always been resolved.
When searching for a missing child, investigators don't rely on timetables when it comes to calling off a search, he said.
“When the trail has gone cold and there are no leads, you scale back at some point,” Tanner said. “But if you have any viable lead that could lead you to the person, dead or alive, you go at it full steam.”
New Mexico lawmen have assisted in the search for Dylan.
Scuba divers who are part of New Mexico State Police Search and Recovery Dive Team have twice trolled the bottom of Vallecito Lake looking for Dylan's body.
The San Juan County Sheriff's Office helicopter has done two aerial searches of the Vallecito area. On Monday, the helicopter searched Vallecito Reservoir and other lakes in the Durango area looking for a body washed on shore or in shallow water.
“We do missing person searches regularly,” said Deputy Rob Gross, the helicopter pilot. “But for a child to be missing for this long, it's the first time I've been involved in something like this.
“It's scary.”
Anyone with information regarding Dylan's disappearance should call a tip line at 970-382-7511 or Crime Stoppers at 970-247-1112.