In the immediate days after his son’s disappearance, Mark Redwine was idle and “wasn’t anxious to get involved” with the search, a son testified Thursday during his father’s murder trial.
Meanwhile, an ex-wife took the witness stand to say news of Dylan Redwine’s disappearance reminded her of an off-color remark Mark Redwine made more than 30 years ago while on a family camping trip: something to the effect of a remote wooded area being a good place to dump a body, she testified.
The estranged family members testified Thursday during the ninth day of Redwine’s murder trial in Durango. The father is charged with second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in Dylan’s death.
Brandon Redwine, Dylan’s half-brother, told jurors he learned Dylan was missing after reaching out to his other half-brother, Cory Redwine. He said communication between him and Mark had become sporadic.
Brandon, along with his wife and children, drove to Durango from Gilbert, Arizona, to help search for Dylan.
Cory, Brandon, Mark and David Stone, Mark’s brother, sat down one night to develop a plan to search for Dylan. Brandon said the group encouraged Redwine to be more active in the case.
“It was frustrating. It’s your son. Get involved,” Brandon told jurors.
The next day, Brandon, Mark and Stone drove up Middle Mountain Road to look for Dylan. But after 20 minutes of driving, Redwine told the group Dylan was not up there.
“And I figured Mark knows something,” Brandon said. “I didn't know what he knew, I didn't know how he knew it.”
Betsy Horvath, who was married to Redwine for six years, recounted a family camping trip in the late 1980s. They were in a remote location, it was getting dark, and she felt scared after her husband told her the mountainous area would be “a good place to get rid of a body,” she told jurors.
When she learned Dylan was missing, she remembered the remark and reported it to police, thinking it could provide answers about what happened to Dylan.
“I felt sick to my stomach,” she said.
Before Dylan’s remains were found, Brandon said he frequently asked his father what he thought happened to Dylan. Eventually, Brandon asked his father directly: Do you know where Dylan is?
“He said, ‘I know where Dylan’s at. He’s in my heart,’” Brandon said.
Redwine was “stoic” and didn’t appear sad upon first learning of Dylan’s remains being found, Brandon said.
“I didn't understand that, because if it were my son, I would be a lot more emotional,” Brandon testified.
Redwine also used the term “blunt force trauma” when Dylan’s remains were first found, which struck Brandon as odd because no skull had been found and no testing had been done to determine if the boy suffered blunt force trauma. Redwine spoke “passionately” and “very direct” when using the term, blunt force trauma, Brandon said.
“I remember telling my wife, ‘He’s telling me what happened.’ And he's not telling me what exactly was used, but we don't have enough information to be thinking about blunt force trauma,” Brandon said. “It just shocked me a bit because I didn't see where it was coming from.”
Kaela Roeder is an intern for The Durango Herald and The Journal in Cortez and a 2021 graduate of American University in Washington, D.C.