Colorado Father sentenced to 48 years in prison for murder of teenage son, Dylan Redwine, in 2012

April 02, 2022

On November 18, 2012, 13-year-old Dylan Redwine stepped off a plane in Durango-La Plata County Airport, Colorado to attend a court ordered visit with his father, Mark Redwine. Dylan did not want to spend to time with his father, a fact that was backed up by security footage from the airport and a Walmart they visited soon after Dylan’s plane landed. The footage showed little to no interaction between the pair as they walked around together, and this footage would be the last images of the teenager alive.

After arriving at his father’s home on 2343 County Road 500, Bayfield, La Plata County, Colorado, Dylan was never heard from again. Phone records recorded Dylan Redwine's last activity as 9:37pm that same night. Both his phone and backpack would never be recovered.

It was no secret that Dylan and his father did not get along. Dylan did not want to visit that day and asked if he could stay over at a friend’s house instead, but his father ruled against it. Dylan told his friend that he would stop by at 6:30am the following morning, however, he never showed up. Concerned, his friend sent him a text message at 6:46am asking where he was, but the message went unanswered.

Mark Redwine’s neighbor noticed some strange activity throughout the early hours of November 19, including the outside light being switched on at around 2:00am on November 19.

A forensic search of Mark Redwine's property revealed the presence of Dylan's blood in several locations around the home, including an area of the living room where blood was found on the couch, the floor, the corner of a table and a nearby seat. Cadaver dogs discovered the presence of human remains on the property on August 5, 2013, both in the living room and the washing machine. The hit indicated a significant presence of human remains. This same presence was also found on the clothing Mark Redwine had been wearing on the day his son disappeared. Several months later in February of 2014, the same K9 unit indicated the presence of human remains in Mark Redwine's pickup truck.

In the summer of 2013, the missing teenager’s partial remains were discovered eight miles up on Middle Mountain Road, a 13,100-foot peak in the Sawatch Range in San Juan National Forest. Middle Mountain Road is around a 15-minute drive from Mark Redwine’s house in La Plata County. Dylan’s remains were found around a mile from the entrance and no more than one hundred meters from an ATV trail. Mark Redwine was no stranger to Middle Mountain Road and had an ATV of his own. He failed to attend a search for Dylan in the area in the summer of 2013 despite living nearby, instead opting to leave town.  The discovery of the remains was reported to him on June 27, 2013.

Both Mark Redwine's ex-wife, Betsy Horvath, and his son (Dylan's half-brother), Brandon Redwine, reported having strange and worrying conversations with Mark Redwine before and after Dylan's death wherein Mark talked about blunt force trauma. Both were concerned that Mark had harmed Dylan and were quick to voice this to investigators. Betsy Horvath recalled a conversation she had with her ex-husband wherein he had told her that if he ever had to dispose of a body that he would do so by dumping it in the mountains. He also threatened to kill his children if he lost custody of them to Horvath. He would go on to make a similar threat to then-wife Elaine Hall.

Dylan had expressed discomfort around Mark and the things he had been saying about his mother, Elaine Hall, and brother. He was having a challenging time coping with the custody battle and bitter divorce and on top of that, he had discovered some images of his father that deeply disturbed him. Dylan’s older brother, Cory, asked Dylan to show him the images, which he did. The boys found the images on Mark Redwine’s laptop while on a road trip with their father that was intended to be a bonding experience between them.

The images were sexual in nature and depicted Mark Redwine wearing women's clothing and a diaper and eating human feces.

Cory told media outlets that Dylan planned to confront his father about what he had discovered.

Dylan was getting old enough to speak his mind; we encouraged him to. We encouraged him to tell him how he felt. You should always be able to tell your dad how you feel and have some sort of understanding. He was definitely going down there with a bigger voice than he had before.”

"It shows him wearing women's clothes and makeup and a diaper and then eating his feces from the diaper. It was disgusting. We couldn't believe it," said Cory.

Cory Redwine added that he and his family had always believed that Mark Redwine was involved in Dylan’s disappearance and death and had not only made worrying statements but had displayed the potential for violence.

After the news of Dylan's death was officially reported, Mark Redwine got into a verbal altercation with two of Elaine's friends outside of her home. The lewd images Dylan had discovered on his laptop were brought-up, sending Mark Redwine into a rage where he brandished a large log and swung it above his head as if to attack Elaine's friends.

Over two years later, hikers discovered Dylan Redwine’s skull further up the trail less than two miles from the partial remains found in 2013. The skull displayed marks consistent with blunt and sharp force trauma, likely from a knife. The injuries were determined to have happened at or near the time of death, ruling out death by natural causes or death from predatorial wildlife. Later at trial, prosecutors would allege that Mark Redwine had severed Dylan's head from his body. Redwine's attorneys would attempt to convince the court that Dylan had ran away and fell victim to the elements or local wildlife- a theory that wildlife experts and forensic anthropologists were quick to disprove.

Mark Redwine was arrested on July 22 and charged with second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death. He received the maximum sentence of 48 years behind bars for the murder of his son.

During the sentencing the judge said of Mark Redwine:

"As a father, it is your obligation to protect your son and keep him from harm and instead of that, you inflicted enough injury on him to kill him in your living room. After the passion of whatever caused you to act the way you did subsided, you did not think about Dylan. You thought about yourself. You sanitized the crime scene. You hid Dylan's body, and you went as far as to remove the head from the rest of his body. After all this time and listening to what was heard in this courtroom, you still take absolutely no responsibility for what you did to Dylan. I have trouble remembering a convicted criminal defendant that has shown such an utter lack of remorse for his criminal behavior."

Family members of Dylan Redwine have speculated that Dylan's discovery of the compromising photographs may be what "set off his temper."

Of his father’s behavior, Cory said: “He’s just a sick person, but he’s fully aware of his actions, and he’s fine with being that person. If that’s how he wants to live his life, then well, we can see where that gets you. He’s where he belongs.”

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