Some friendships start with an instant connection. Ryan Nava bumped into Dylan Redwine and they stuck.
“Like physically, I ran into him at Family Dollar and that’s how I met him,” Ryan said.
Ryan was good friends with Dylan when the two were in the 7th grade.
“Anytime we were together, it was like mischief. Always,” he said. “We’d just pull pranks on each other and stuff like that.”
Ryan’s mother, Ramona Fonseca, recalled how quickly the friendship grew.
“Ryan and Dylan loved each other from the beginning,” Fonseca said. “When you’re that age, your friends mean everything to you.”
A mother also knows losing a friend, at any age, hurts.
“[Ryan’s] been resilient, but there’s always a sadness there that didn’t exist prior to this,” Fonseca said.
In November 2012, 13-year-old Dylan Redwine disappeared. Ryan had been expecting Dylan to visit him at his home in Bayfield, but he never showed.
“Of course, we then knew that it was a serious thing and there was a reason why he didn’t show,” Fonseca said.
In the months that followed, Ryan and his friends joined the exhaustive search for Dylan Redwine.
“These kids went door to door,” Fonseca said. “We would get in a vehicle and I drove places that I didn’t even know you could drive to in the mountains, and it was door to door, handing out flyers, things like that.”
Seven months after Dylan’s disappearance, the boy’s partial remains were discovered on Middle Mountain only miles away from Mark Redwine’s home in Vallecito. When Ryan Nava learned his friend’s body had been found, the tears flowed and the mix of emotions he felt are still hard to describe.
“I couldn’t really tell you the feeling exactly, but I remember the feeling because it was tiring on me,” Ryan said.
In November 2015, hikers found Dylan’s skull off a mountain road that Mark Redwine knew well. On Saturday, a grand jury indicted Mark Redwine and he was arrested in Washington state. He faces charges of second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death. He’s being held in Bellingham, Washington and faces extradition to Colorado. The arrest brings those close to Dylan Redwine a little closer to closure.
“We’re taking a step somewhere,” Ryan Nava said. “We’re not stagnant anymore.”
Ramona Fonseca admitted she was not surprised to hear of Mark Redwine’s arrest.
“Gosh, it took a true test of patience to wait this long, but I chose to believe in a system,” she said.
Ryan still misses the friend he bumped into at Family Dollar. Four and a half years later, he holds onto Dylan’s memory. He keeps a basketball that once belonged to Dylan in his room.
“Somehow, it’s always stuck around just kind of like Dylan has, you know,” Ryan said.
Ryan goes off to college in the fall, and he plans to take Dylan’s basketball with him. Some friendships start, and simply never end.
“Dylan will always be there,” Ryan said. “For sure.”