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Multiple witnesses claim Mark Redwine was disheveled, 'nonchalant' following son's disappearance

A search-and-rescuer took the witness stand in the murder trial and discussed Redwine's demeanor in the hours after his 13-year-old son was reported missing.

DURANGO, Colo. — Upper Pine River Deputy Fire Chief Roy Vreeland wasn’t on-duty the afternoon of Nov. 19, 2012. When he received a pager message about a missing child, he said he nevertheless sprang into action and grabbed his to-go bag, pausing only to check the temperature before he walked out the door.

Vreeland said it was just above 40 degrees, and although the sun was shining, it would soon get dark, making the search for 13-year-old Dylan Redwine near his father Mark’s home in Vallecito all the more urgent.

Mark Redwine greeted first-responders at the door. Vreeland said he remembered Redwine looked “disheveled” and his demeanor was “laid-back, nonchalant.”

“Typically, more people show a lot of emotion when someone’s missing,” said Vreeland, who worked in search and rescue for multiple decades before recently retiring. “… I would say [Mark Redwine] was concerned, but he was not frantic at all.”

Prosecutors called Vreeland to the witness stand on Monday morning to testify in the trial of Mark Redwine, who was indicted in 2017 for second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death for his alleged role in his son's disappearance. Monday marked the start of the second week in what’s expected to be a four-week trial —  a legal proceeding that’s been delayed multiple times due to everything from the COVID-19 pandemic to the arrest of the suspect's attorney.

> The video above is from a previous 9NEWS story recapping the case and the arguments made during opening statements. 

RELATED: What happened to Dylan Redwine? Prosecution and defense offer 2 stories in father's murder trial

Dylan Redwine

Dylan Redwine’s body wasn’t found until June 2013. A search team discovered his remains just off a rugged ATV road on Middle Mountain, which wasn’t far from where he had been staying during a court-ordered visit with his father.

Vreeland said when he first arrived at Mark Redwine’s house, he noticed multiple liquor bottles both inside and outside. He had brought a dog to hopefully find some trace of Dylan Redwine and said he repeatedly asked the boy’s father for some form of scent article.

“He said there was nothing there,” Vreeland said. “The thing I remember most is he said he did not have a jacket.”

RELATED: Friends recount final conversations with Dylan Redwine before his disappearance

Vreeland said he told Mark Redwine that he was “looking for anything,” a phone charger, a hair brush, a toothbrush, lip balm, and that he said “there was nothing in the house that belonged to the child.”

Finally, Vreeland said he asked where the boy had slept, and Mark Redwine pointed at the couch in the living room, where Vreeland found a pillowcase that could be used as a scent article.

This pillowcase ultimately did not trigger a response from the dog, Vreeland said. That first night, the search for Dylan Redwine was called off at 1 a.m. Two hours before that, Vreeland said he saw something odd: someone shut off the lights at Mark Redwine's home at 11 p.m. 

“Most people tend to turn every light on and make their house a beacon so that a missing person could find their way home whether it’s a spouse or a child," Vreeland said. "... it was odd. Very odd." 

The search resumed at 7 a.m. the next morning, and Vreeland said he set up a base across the street from Mark Redwine's home. At one point, he said he saw the now-murder suspect come outside with a cup of coffee and watch the teams scour the area. He said the older Redwine didn't offer to help. 

"He showed no interest," Vreeland said. 

The search also centered around the lake about six miles from Mark Redwine's home, where a dog signaled it had picked up a scent near a stump. Vreeland said this did not yield a result, and he became suspicious about whether the pillowcase he was using as Dylan Redwine's scent marker had actually been used by the boy. 

The prosecution said later testimony will focus on a test done by other search and rescue dogs with the pillowcase.

Vreeland took the witness stand after a DNA expert, who testified for hours about the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s analysis of what was believed to be blood inside Mark Redwine’s living room.

Credit: Courtesy Colorado Courts
An exhibit by the prosecution showing where in Mark Redwine's living room possible blood had a reaction with Luminol.

RELATED: DNA expert: Dylan Redwine’s blood was found in his father’s living room

RELATED: Prosecution says suspected human blood found in multiple areas in living room of Mark Redwine's home

One part of the DNA found here likely belonged to Dylan Redwine, but the state’s analysis cannot show how long it had been there.

During opening statements, Mark Redwine's public defenders alleged that the teenager wandered off on his own. Vreeland said on the day Dylan Redwine was reported missing, his father had said the boy liked to fish either at a lake 6 miles away from his home or at the stream across the street.

The prosecution has implied that Mark Redwine and his teenage son had a confrontation after the boy discovered compromising photos of his father. Previous testimony focused on the fact that Dylan Redwine did not want to visit his father that November and that his last communication with his friends was the night before his father reported him missing. 

That next day, Bayfield Marshall Sgt. Daniel Adella testified that Mark Redwine showed up to the office and said his son was missing. He opted not to file a report until later, when he realized what happened could become a big deal. 

"He just didn't seem to have concern about his son being missing," Adella said of Redwine. 

The second to last witness called to the stand on Monday afternoon was Sean Borris, who worked with Mark Redwine and said he came to the office just hours before he reported his son missing. 

Borris testified that he looked "unkempt and a little tired -- very tired." 

"I told investigators that he looked terrible and had been on an all-night Bender," Borris said. 

During cross-examination, the defense showed that this was not the description this particular witness made during his first interview. 

Now-retired FBI Special Agent Margot Russin was the next person called to the stand, and she took the jury on a room-by-room tour of Mark Redwine's house after his teenage son disappeared. 

No items were found in the home that belonged to Dylan Redwine, Russin said. 

She will return to the witness stand when testimony resumes at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

> 9NEWS is providing daily digital updates on the Mark Redwine trial. For all of the coverage, visit 9news.com/dylanredwine.

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