Why Mark Redwine Was Finally Busted for Son Dylan's Murder After Nearly Five Years

Mark Redwine's booking photo.
Mark Redwine's booking photo. La Plata County Sheriff's Office
For years, the tragic 2012 murder of Dylan Redwine shared one major element in common with the JonBenét Ramsey case. In both slayings, a parent or parents were under suspicion, yet law enforcers never brought criminal charges. That changed on Saturday, July 22, when Mark Redwine, Dylan's father, was arrested in Bellingham, Washington, on suspicion of killing his son. And a grand jury indictment released in the wake of the bust and accessible below reveals why, in greater detail than has been previously shared with the public.

According to the indictment, Dylan was last seen alive on November 18, 2012, when he arrived via airplane for a court-ordered visit with Mark, who was involved in what is described as "an intensely contested custody" dispute with his ex-wife, Elaine Hall. At the time, the boy was thirteen years old. After stopping at a Walmart and a McDonald's, Dylan and his father arrived at Mark's home, located at 2343 County Road 500 in Bayfield, a town in La Plata County.

The indictment points out that Mark and Dylan "had argued and fought on their previous visit" and "had not been getting along" leading up to the latter's latest trip to Bayfield. Several witnesses said Dylan didn't want to stay with his dad, and the teen sent a text message to a friend asking that he be able to room with him on the night of his arrival — a request that Mark nixed. However, Dylan, in what appears to have been his final telephone conversation, made arrangements to visit his pal the next morning.

Early on the 19th, Dylan's friend texted him, asking, "Where are you?" He didn't receive a response.

click to enlarge Dylan Redwine in a photo taken shortly before his disappearance. - FACEBOOK
Dylan Redwine in a photo taken shortly before his disappearance.
From the start, Mark was the focus of the search for Dylan, whom he subsequently reported missing — and plenty of damning evidence was found over the course of the inquiry. "Dylan Redwine's blood was found in multiple locations of Mark Redwine's living room, including on the couch, the floor in front of the couch, the corner of the coffee table, on the floor beneath a rug, and a love seat," the indictment states. "DNA testing showed that Dylan Redwine was the source of the blood on the love seat, and could not be eliminated as a contributor to the mixture found in the blood found on the couch, floor in front of the couch, the corner of the coffee table, and the blood found beneath the rug."

The report suggests that the blood was fairly fresh, in all probability, since the house had undergone a major remodel in March 2012, and Dylan had only limited access to it prior to November.

The next year, in June 2013, some of Dylan's remains were located "about eight miles up Middle Mountain Road from Mark's house, roughly one mile past the gate, which closes seasonally around November 30 every year, and only 100 yards or so from the road directly off an ATV trail." The indictment adds that "Mark had an ATV in his garage and was very familiar with Middle Mountain Road."

A couple of months later, on August 5, the indictment continues, a human-remains detection dog went through Mark's house "to determine if the corpse of a deceased human had been present at that location," and the dog "indicated the presence of cadaver scent in various locations in the home, including the living room and the washing machine." A similar scent turned up on the clothes Mark was probably wearing on the night in question.

Elaine Hall during a 2013 search. - FACEBOOK
Elaine Hall during a 2013 search.
Nonetheless, Mark evaded arrest — and two more years passed before, on November 1, 2015, hikers farther up on Middle Mountain Road stumbled upon Dylan's skull about a mile and a half from the spot where the other remains were spotted. A Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer quoted in the indictment believes it's unlikely that an animal dragged Dylan's body to the previous recovery site, or the skull to the location where it was discovered, implying that a human must have moved him.

Forensic anthropologists determined that Dylan's skull "had injuries consistent with blunt-force trauma," including "two small markings consistent with tool marks from a knife," the indictment divulges — and this information put investigators in mind of a conversation with Mark reported by Dylan's half-brother, Brandon Redwine, more than two years earlier. Brandon told investigators that Mark "had mentioned blunt-force trauma several times and discussed how investigators would have to find the rest of the body, including the skull, before they could determine if this was the cause of death."

Supplementing physical evidence in the indictment are a number of remarks attributed to Mark. Another ex-wife, Betsy Horvath, said he'd told her "that if he ever had to get rid of a body, he would leave it out in the mountains." Also, during their divorce proceedings, the indictment maintains that "Mr. Redwine repeatedly violated the custody agreement and told Ms. Horvath that he would 'kill the kids before he let her have them.'"

Mark is being held on a $1 million, cash-only bond. He's due to be extradited from Washington to Colorado, where he'll be formally advised of the charges against him. Click to read the Mark Redwine indictment. In addition, here are some past Westword posts about Dylan Redwine:

Dylan Redwine now subject of homicide investigation, family at war
FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013 AT 5:52 A.M.

Dylan Redwine disappearance: Dad surfaces as investigators conclude boy didn't run away
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2012 AT 6:11 A.M.

Dylan Redwine search: New photos released, parents take polygraphs

Dylan Redwine investigation: Latest search of dad's house leads to more speculation
THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013 AT 6:37 A.M.

Dylan Redwine homicide: Is just-hospitalized dad Mark Redwine being stalked by haters?
MONDAY, MAY 5, 2014 AT 6:51 A.M.

Dylan Redwine Parents' Dueling Lawsuits Tossed, No Justice in Sight for Slain Boy
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2016 AT 5:45 A.M.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts