DURANGO, Colo. (CBS4)- The search for Dylan Redwine is over but the details of what happened when he went missing remains a mystery.
“Once you get confirmation that he’s no longer with us it’s not easy, it hurts a lot,” said Dylan’s older brother Cory Redwine.
The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday afternoon that human remains found have been identified as that of the missing teenager.
Dylan has been missing since Nov. 19, a day after arriving at his father’s Vallecito home for a court-ordered visit during Thanksgiving break. The boy was living with his mother and brother, Cory, in the Colorado Springs area.
His father, Mark Redwine, says he last saw Dylan asleep when he left home early to do some errands. He reported the boy missing that afternoon.
Redwine’s parents have blamed each other for his disappearance and did so publicly on the CBS show Dr. Phil.
A variety of items including bones were collected during a five-day search of Middle Mountain Road.
“Once we began finding items that we believed would be connected to Dylan we did a very thorough search. We made dozens of line searches in the area where the first items were located and extended that search down into other drainages so we could gather all that could be found,” said La Plata County Sheriff’s spokesman Dan Bender.
Middle Mountain is located north and within sight of Vallecito Lake, near Dylan’s father’s house. The search area ranged from 8,000 to 11,000 feet altitude and consists of deep canyons and dense forest.
Authorities thought the area had too much snow for a thorough check and went back for a more intense search once the snow had melted.
“This was an area along Middle Mountain road which is a U.S. Forest Service road and it’s 12 miles long and there are may access points off of that and so it is not difficult to get to that area by vehicle,” said Bender.
Bender said the subdivision where Dylan was staying with his father is visible from Middle Mountain across the valley.
“We’re pursuing this as a criminal investigation and not an accident,” said Bender.
Cory believes his own father may have the much-needed answers to the mystery.
“I believe that Mark is, Mark is holding the key,” said Cory. “We strongly believe that the last person to see Dylan knows the truth.”
The searches began last Saturday and ended this afternoon. The searches were not based on any recent tips nor new information. They were part of a series of follow-up searches conducted in the Vallecito area since snows melted this Spring.
“Unfortunately we have had criminal investigations into homicides also over the years including children but this one has been unique in that the few clues that we had to begin with,” said Bender. “We have been working this and will continue to work this as a criminal investigation until we’re able to resolve it.”
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family in this very difficult time for them,” said Bender.
“He’s always with me in everything I do from here on out, it is for him and he is side-by-side with me,” said Cory.