DURANGO, Colo. - Investigators have identified a person of interest in the case of a 13-year-old boy who went missing in 2012 and whose remains were found seven months later in southwestern Colorado.
The La Plata County Sheriff's Office announced the development in Dylan Redwine's case Wednesday but declined to publicly identify the person. Investigators also stressed they are not yet ready to call this person a suspect, according to The Durango Herald.
"It's a fair statement that we are very encouraged that we have crossed the bridge from the unknown to the known," said Pete Klismet, a former FBI criminal profiler hired by the sheriff's office and the district attorney's office to help investigate.
Dylan lived north of Colorado Springs with his mother but went to his father's home near Vallecito Reservoir northeast of Durango for a court-ordered visit in November 2012 during Thanksgiving break. Mark Redwine has said he returned home from doing errands to find his son gone.
The 13-year-old's remains were found seven months later in June 2013 not far from his father's home.
Sheriff's office spokesman Dan Bender told The Denver Post that two searches last month near where the remains were found turned up items of interest, and more searches are planned.
Wednesday's announcement has given the case momentum it has not had since the teenager's remains were found.
"There is a level of excitement right now that has not been previously felt before," said Klismet, who was hired about six months ago.
CBS affiliate KKTV reports Klismet said the person of interest has been contacted and is aware of being a person of interest. He would not confirm if it is a man or woman.
CBS Denver reports Dylan's case gained national attention when the child's parents appeared on the Dr. Phil show and blamed one another for his disappearance. Elaine Hatfield, Dylan's mother, appeared on the show again recently and she and her other son Cory confronted Dylan's father, Mark, via telephone.
Mark Redwine has repeatedly denied any involvement in his son's death. He told CBS Denver Wednesday that he didn't know anything about recent developments in his son's case. When told a person of interest had been identified, he replied, "One would like to believe that," according to the station.
Elaine Hatfield did not respond to a request for comment. She recently filed a wrongful death suit against her ex-husband in connection with the case.