Nearly six months after teenager Dylan Redwine was reported missing, his father, Mark Redwine, released a statement Friday criticizing how missing children’s cases are handled by authorities and inviting Dylan’s mom to mediation.
“I am asking that we stop and evaluate the process as a community, to come up with a more productive approach in the search for Dylan and missing children across the country,” he wrote in the statement. “No child who is missing should have to wait for certain criteria to be met before the public is notified and an alert be sent out.”
Redwine said in an interview Friday with The Durango Herald that no Amber Alert was issued when Dylan first went missing Nov. 19 from the Vallecito area because the case didn’t meet the criteria for an alert.
Law-enforcement officers have to confirm a child has been abducted before issuing an alert, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Amber Alert website.
“I firmly believe that the most critical time was in the first day or two or three and that everything possible should have been done. I think that not enough was done in that time frame,” Mark Redwine said in the interview.
Dylan Redwine arrived in Durango Nov. 18, 2012, for a court-ordered visitation with Mark Redwine during the Thanksgiving break.
Mark Redwine reported he last saw Dylan around 7:30 a.m. Nov. 19 before leaving to run errands in Durango. He said he returned home at 11:30 a.m. to find Dylan gone and reported the teenager missing around 6 p.m. that day.
Mark Redwine, in an interview with the Herald, also criticized how the investigation has been handled by the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office, claiming there is not a 50-person task force but rather five investigators.
La Plata County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dan Bender could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
Redwine said he doesn’t think Dylan, age 13 when he disappeared, is in Vallecito or La Plata County.
Authorities searched Vallecito Reservoir again in April after search dogs picked up a scent by the lake.
“How many times do you have to search the damn thing til you realize he’s no t in the lake?” Mark Redwine said. “There’s something in my gut that tells me Dylan isn’t anywhere in La Plata County.”
Mark Redwine’s statement also included an invitation for mediation with Dylan’s mother and his ex-wife, Elaine Redwine.
“I believe the more we all work together to bring Dylan home the more successful his safe return will be.” Mark Redwine wrote in the statement.
But Elaine Redwine says mediation isn’t necessary because she “has no qualms with speaking to him.”
“He continues to say let’s go to mediation, but he hasn’t done anything to start it,” she said in an interview Friday afternoon. “Frankly, I don’t think we need one.”
Elaine Redwine said she thinks law enforcement at first “dropped the ball in assuming he was a runaway” but that she now believes they are “going in the right direction.”
A tip line has been set up with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office to collect information about Dylan Redwine, who has been missing since Nov. 19. The line is not answered but collects messages and is checked frequently by investigators.
Tips can be left anonymously, but if the caller wants a reply, a callback number is needed.
Anonymous tips may also be left with Durango-La Plata Crime Stoppers at 247-1112; or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at (800) 843-5678. A reward for finding Dylan now stands at more than $50,000.