Family keeps faith through adverse time

Mark Redwine: 'I'm trying to stay strong'

Dylan Redwine Enlargephoto

Dylan Redwine

Dylan Redwine's parents are suffering through one of the worst possible tragedies to hit a parent – a missing child. Even with the community support Mark and Elaine Redwine have received, nothing truly takes away from their pain.

“We've got to put our faith in God,” Mark Redwine said Sunday morning. “I'm trying to stay strong and not lose my faith.”

“Everybody's pitched in,” Elaine Redwine said, noting how the community, including many strangers, have helped in the search for Dylan and in helping the family survive the ordeal.

“Dylan has become our child,” she said about the community.

Mark Redwine said in a telephone interview that “it's been very difficult” dealing with Dylan's disappearance sometime the morning of Nov. 19. “I'm not eating or sleeping,” he said.

Dylan was visiting his father in Vallecito on a court-ordered visit. The Redwines have been divorced since 2007 and Elaine Redwine recently moved with Dylan and his older brother Cory to the Colorado Springs area.

Mark Redwine said he had some frustrations about the whole event, the first being what happened to Dylan.

“We're all searching for that answer,” he said.

“I think we're all frustrated,” including the community, he added.

Another source of frustration is with the Dylan Redwine Taskforce of law-enforcement agencies, he said. He said in the last day or two he has been trying to contact the task force for updates but has received no response.

Mark Redwine's usual contact with the task force is Lead Investigator Dan Patterson of the La Plata County Sheriff's Office. He said he saw Patterson Friday, but has not heard from him since.

One of the hardest parts is the type of information he does get.

Mark Redwine said he was told there's an area of Vallecito Reservoir that's “of interest” to law enforcement. This follows a search by New Mexico state dive crews Nov. 25 near the Vallecito dam. At that time, nothing was found.

Elaine Redwine, in a separate phone interview, said that the task force “is working hard.” Because this is an ongoing investigation, not all information is being made public.

But Elaine Redwine did say that there has been no activity on Dylan's phone since he vanished, and he definitely did not run away.

Similarly, while some of Dylan's Bayfield friends suggested he might hitchhike down from Vallecito to Bayfield for a scheduled visit with them, Elaine Redwine said she and Dylan had talked about being safe, including not hitchhiking.

“It would be uncharacteristic of Dylan to do that,” she said.

At the same time, Mark Redwine has been thrust into the public spotlight, something he's not used to.

“I tend to be more of a private person,” he explained. “I keep things bottled up inside.”

Because of the economic recession, Mark Redwine has been working out of the area and comes home to Vallecito when he can.

“Fathers and mothers do what we got to do” to support their families, even if that means long-distance jobs, Redwine said.

He specifically came back Nov. 17 to pick up Dylan at the airport. But Redwine said there had been some mechanical problem with the plane, so Dylan's mother rescheduled for Dylan to fly in Sunday evening.

The 13-year-old was still asleep when his father ran some errands in Durango the morning of Nov. 19. When he came back, Dylan was gone. The search began late that day.

The Redwines moved to the area from Denver in 2004 when Elaine took a job at Fort Lewis College. When the couple divorced three years later, Elaine Redwine and the boys continued to live in Bayfield and Mark Redwine stayed in the house in Vallecito.

Living in a rural area was new to him.

“I've always said I'm, a city boy,” Redwine said. “It takes awhile getting used to.”

In some ways, just doing media interviews and waiting is not the easiest way to deal with the situation. Redwine said he even wanted to donate to the funds helping support activities to find Dylan.

Elaine Redwine now works for Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

“My employer has been awesome,” she said. They have allowed her to “take care of what I need to take care of.”

In addition, members of Elaine Redwine's family have come out to help, as has her fiance and some of Mark Redwine's family as well.

Dylan's name and, in some cases, photograph, are on a variety of signs and marquees around area, such as at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio.

And, despite thanking the community for donations of money and food, and the help of family members, Elaine Redwine said that, each day gets harder.

“I'm still as much of a wreck as I was when we found out he was missing,” she said.

“It's heart-wrenching when I drive by the Sky Ute and see my son.”

rgalin@durangoherald.com