In November 2012, thirteen-year-old Dylan Redwine disappeared near the southwestern Colorado home of his dad, Mark Redwine. His remains were found in June 2013, with La Plata County investigators launching a homicide investigation -- and while Mark has never been officially named as a suspect, he's been under relentless pressure from the mainstream press and (especially) social media.
The latest twist: Mark was hospitalized early Saturday morning after bizarre behavior he says was motivated by concern that he was being "stalked" by "haters."
The basics about the case, as we've we've reported them: Dylan's mother, Elaine, divorced Mark in 2007; Dylan moved with his mom from southwestern Colorado to Colorado Springs in 2011. On November 18, however, Dylan traveled to the community of Vallecito, not far from Durango, to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with his dad.
The next day, Mark told representatives of the La Plata Sheriff's Office that he left home around 7:30 a.m. to run some errands, and upon his return four hours later, Dylan was gone. And he remained missing until his remains were discovered in a search of Middle Mountain, not far from Vallecito Lake, in late June.
In the interim, Elaine raised questions about Mark, sharing with ABC News her suspicion that her ex-husband may have tried to "remove Dylan from the situation. You know, like, 'If I can't have him, nobody will.'
"I was married to Mark for a lot of years, and I know the way he reacts to things," she went on. "If Dylan maybe did or said something that wasn't what Mark wanted to hear, I'm just afraid of how Mark would have reacted."
Responding to these implications, Mark told 7News that Elaine was making the situation "more than it needs to be" before adding that he wanted to avoid lashing out at her.
The public bickering continued on a national stage. Here's Elaine and Mark on an episode of Dr. Phil from a 2013 episode.
Also piling on Mark has been the Calling Mark Redwine Facebook page, which has kept up a steady attack on its subject for well over a year. Last August, for instance, it was among the first places to note that authorities were conducting a search of Mark's home.
The Calling Mark Redwine post post about the search read:
Am up @beautiful Vallecito Lake.. Just drove by MR house on the way to camp and, will not speculate, but, well, maybe just a little bit. Something BIG is going on.. 8 vehicles.. 2 LPSD, 3 black & one white SUV, Upper Pine Rescue, a truck with it's tailgate down... boxes an stuff, and a couple other cars all lining the road in front of Mark's house. I hope and pray for resolution.... at the end of this day. You can't run, u can't hide. Praying for Dylan.. RIPeace Little Man.
Before long, 9News and other outlets reported that a search had indeed been conducted at Mark's La Plata County home -- the third following Dylan's disappearance (but first since 2012), with multiple law-enforcement agencies taking part over an estimated three-hour span.
According to Mark, investigators "removed sections of carpet and wood flooring," plus "a fireplace poker, clothing and a cell phone," and "dug a hole in his yard underneath an outdoor staircase," the station revealed.
La Plata County Sheriff Duke Schirard characterized the search to 7News as merely a "follow up" in "a still wide-open investigation," presumably in an effort to short circuit expectations of an impending bust -- and indeed, neither Mark nor anyone else has been formally accused in Dylan's death to date.
Then, at about 2 a.m. on Saturday, May 3, according to the Durango Herald, a woman with Mark in Denver dialed 911 in what's described as a "welfare check." He was found near the intersection of Ellsworth Avenue and Fox Street and transported to a nearby hospital, presumably for his own safety.
No arrest took place, and Mark was subsequently released. In the meantime, though, he contacted a reporter with 9News to explain the incident. He told the station he was feeling paranoid due to a fear that he was being "stalked" by "haters" and "monitored" by police -- reactions presumably exacerbated by the fact that he was admittedly "self-medicating."
The Find Missing Dylan Redwine Facebook page, which has been active since shortly after the boy's disappearance and boasts more than 29,000 likes, was quickly inundated with vitriol aimed at Mark -- so much invective that the address' administrator deleted all the comments and directed those who wanted to weigh in to the Calling Mark Redwine page.
Plenty of folks appear to have accepted the invitation. The attacks on Mark there are withering, with "Oh Mark, poor, poor, poor victimized Mark" being among the most benign.
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Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa July 2013: "Dylan Redwine investigation: Justice for DYLAN page doesn't want Facebook fight."