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Unable to locate his son, Mark Redwine took a nap, FBI agent says

Prosecutors rested their case Thursday after nearly three full weeks of testimony.

LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. — The day after Dylan Redwine was last heard from, his father Mark Redwine told an FBI agent that despite being unable to get a hold of him or knowing where he was he laid down and took a 45 minute to hour-long nap.

FBI Agent John Grusing, who is based in Denver, was the final witness for the prosecution who wrapped up their case Thursday.

He traveled to the Durango area on Nov. 25 and went to Mark Redwine's home the next day to conduct an interview because he said the La Plata County Sheriff's Office was having trouble "rectifying some of his statements about what happened with Dylan."

Dylan Redwine, was last seen on Nov. 18, 2012, during a court ordered visit with his dad in the Durango area. Dylan's partial remains were found on Middle Mountain in June 2013. His skull was found about five miles away in November 2015.

Mark Redwine is charged with second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death related to the disappearance and death of Dylan Redwine, whose partial remains were found on Middle Mountain in June 2013. His skull was found some distance away in November 2015.

Prior to his interview with Mark Redwine on Nov. 26, 2012, Grusing said he had Mark Redwine write a "free narrative." From that written statement, he said they would look for places where Mark Redwine was very detailed or appeared to be vague.

Grusing read the jury that written statement in court and he appeared to be very detailed about the events on the night of Nov. 18 when he described picking up Dylan from the airport and going straight to Walmart and then to McDonald's before going home.

According to the written statement, Dylan and Mark tossed a football, and then they watched a movie that they had purchased at Walmart.

He said the two were "roughhousing" that evening and that "tensions were subsiding." During his first interview with Grusing, Mark Redwine said no one was hurt, according to court testimony.

 According to the statement, Mark Redwine said he went to bed around 9:30 or 10 p.m. and that Dylan was still up, but he didn't think he was up for long.

The next morning, Mark Redwine wrote that he got up around 5:45 a.m. and got ready and "stirred about" but didn't think Dylan was ready to get up, so he went to his office and visited with his attorney. He said while he was out he had tried to contact Dylan, but was unable to do so. He arrived home around 11:30 a.m. to find a cereal bowl in the sink and the TV on, but there was no sign of Dylan.

In an interview with Grusing, Mark Redwine said that he thought Dylan had gone fishing with a friend named Tristan. He said he spent an hour looking for Dylan's fishing pole and then took a nap, which according to Grusing lasted nearly an hour. When he woke up, according to that interview, Mark Redwine went to Tristan's home, but didn't find Dylan. He also contacted Dylan's other friends and when he could not locate Dylan went to the Bayfield Marshalls Office.

During his interview, Grusing said they touched on what could have happened to Dylan and Mark said he thought he went fishing or raised the possibility that he had run away and suggested he might have run away because of his mother Elaine.

Dylan Redwine

Grusing testified that he felt the statement was odd since he was already hours away from his mother staying at his father's residence.

Grusing said he followed up with Dylan's mother and brother and returned the next day on Nov. 27 for another interview with Mark Redwine.

He said when he arrived, Mark Redwine opened the door clutching a pillow and appeared more "disheveled" than he had the day before and had red eyes as if he had been drinking or crying. Grusing testified that Mark Redwine made a comment about the pillow possibly being the last thing Dylan had touched.

He said the second interview was "pretty consistent" with the first interview he had conducted. After leaving that interview, he said he began working with other agencies to draft a search warrant for Mark Redwine's home which was executed the next day on Nov. 29.

On that day, Grusing said he went to Mark Redwine's home and told him about the warrant and that they'd be looking for any signs that Dylan could have been injured at the home. He said they left the home and conducted a third interview with Mark Redwine at the FBI office. 

Grusing testified it was during this third interview that Mark Redwine mentioned possible injuries to Dylan. At first, he told Grusing, Dylan had a cold sore on his lip that was "oozing blood," but when Grusing told Mark Redwine he could easily verify with Dylan's mother whether he had a cold sore, he changed his story.

Mark Redwine, then told Grusing Dylan had been injured while they were tossing a football at his house. He said that Dylan had been hit in the face and that his lip began bleeding and dripped blood onto the floor.

Grusing testified in court Thursday that he found that "significant" because prior to that Mark Redwine had been adamant that Dylan had not been injured.

Mark Redwine later went on to describe that injury further, telling Grusing that when Dylan missed the football it hit him in the face and that he "spat blood" on the floor. It was also during this interview, that Mark Redwine first specified that it was a Nerf football they were tossing around.

During this third interview, Grusing said he pressed Mark Redwine about what could have happened and he said there was "less than a 5% chance" he had run away, which contradicted Mark Redwine's comments during his first interview. He said they also discussed possible stranger abduction, but the two agreed as they talked that it was unlikely.

Finally, he said the possibility of an animal attack was brought up, but Grusing said he could not recall who brought that up. 

"I believe it was me who said like, what a bear, and he got animated and said we have bears around here a bear could have got him," Grusing testified. "Mr. Redwine's reaction's was not what I expected when I posed what if a bear took your son. He got excited almost animated at the possibility."

He said having exhausted all scenarios except that Mark Redwine was involved, Grusing said he pressed him for information by saying that he didn't think he meant to harm Dylan when he came to town.

"I said an accident probably happened and we need to start talking," he testified. "I wanted the defendant to tell us what to Dylan and he could either cooperate and tell us what happened to Dylan or get in the way of justice as it came down on him."

Prosecutors then asked Grusing to describe Mark Redwine's reaction.

"The defendant leaned forward and his shoulders slumped and his head went down and we just let him sit there and think for a while," Grusing testified. "He eventually said I've got to think about myself."

Earlier in the day, a dog handler testified there was a "high probability" that Dylan Redwine's scent was not on a pillowcase provided as a scent article by Mark Redwine, who said that his then-missing son had slept on it prior to disappearing.

Rae Randolph said that she came to that conclusion after conducting an experiment with her dog Sayla on Nov. 26, 2012, about a week after Dylan Redwine was last seen.

RELATED: Here's where a cadaver dog smelled human remains during the investigation into Dylan Redwine's death

>The video above is from earlier in the Mark Redwine trial. 

Randolph said she was contacted by the president of the search and rescue team that she was a member of, who asked her if she could conduct the test. She testified that she was told that other dogs had been using the pillowcase to attempt to track Dylan, but hadn't had any luck. 

It was her understanding, she said, that the goal of the test was to determine whether the pillowcase was a good scent item to aid in their search for Dylan.

She detailed the experiment, where she said about 20 items were set out in a grid-like pattern while her dog Sayla was in a truck where she could not see.

The pillowcase was among those items and the others belonged to various members of the search and rescue team. She then brought Sayla in and provided her with a ball cap as a "known" item belonging to Dylan. It had been collected from his home in Monument by family members and brought to the Durango area.

RELATED: Dylan Redwine suffered skull fracture, sharp force injury around time of death, expert testifies

She said Sayla did not hit on any of the items that had been laid out. After that, Sayla was taken out and the pillowcase was removed and a T-shirt, which was another "known" item belonging to Dylan, was added to the grid. It was placed in a different location than where the pillowcase had been, Randolph testified.

Sayla was brought in once again and was provided the same ballcap as a scent item. This time around, Sayla found Dylan's scent on the shirt, Randolph testified.

When asked whether Dylan's scent was on the pillowcase, Randolph responded, “I would say, with a high degree of probability, that it was not.” 

On cross examination, the defense team noted that contamination of the scent items could throw things off, a point to which Randolph agreed. She said in an ideal situation, she would have collected all of the scent items herself, but in this case, she had not collected any of the items.

She testified that she did provide specific instructions about how the scent items were to be collected from Dylan's Monument home. When she first encountered the items, she said they inside a large bag and that each item in the bag was in its own bag.

The defense also questioned Sayla's reliability and training and pointed to the fact that her certification that was good for two years had expired in May 2012, months before her work in the Redwine case.

Randolph responded by saying that the certifications are not a requirement and that they actually represent the lowest level of training.

Credit: Colorado Courts
A map showing Mark Redwine's home and two sites where remains were later found.

Jim Ezzell an investigator with the La Plata County Sheriff's Office, took the stand next and narrated a more than four-minute-long video taken by a drone that shows various key locations related to the case. 

Those locations included Mark Redwine's home, the site where the first remains of Dylan were found, and the site where his skull was located. 

Credit: Jerry McBride
Jerry McBride/Durango Herald 07-08-21-Durango- Jim Ezzell, an investigator with the La Plata County Sheriff's Office, describes a drone video where Dylan Redwine's remains were found as he testifies on Thursday, July 8, 2021, during the Mark Redwine trial in Durango Co., at the La Plata County Courthouse. Mark Redwine is on trial for second degree murder and child abuse resulting in death of his son Dylan Redwine.

The video painted a picture to the jury of the steep, tree-filled terrain where the remains were found. It also demonstrated the distance between the two sites where remains were found, which according to previous testimony was about five miles.

RELATED: A look at what investigators found on a rugged mountainside in their search for Dylan Redwine

Ezzell testified that he was aware of just one law enforcement search that Mark Redwine was involved in which occurred on Dec. 8, 2012. He said he was not aware of another search before or after that date that Mark Redwine participated in.

Ezzel also explained his role in the recovery of the first remains belonging to Dylan Redwine in June 2013 and testified that while the coroner was not initially called to the scene when the first bones were found, she did come to the site when it was confirmed the bones were human. He also said that the coroner did not ask to take jurisdiction.

Credit: Jerry McBride
Jerry McBride/Durango Herald 07-08-21-Durango- Jim Ezzell, an investigator with the La Plata County Sheriff's Office, testifies on Thursday, July 8, 2021, during the Mark Redwine trial in Durango Co., at the La Plata County Courthouse. Mark Redwine is on trial for second degree murder and child abuse resulting in death of his son Dylan Redwine.

During prior days to testimony, the defense questioned numerous law enforcement witnesses about why the coroner was not called right away.

Ezzell also detailed what was described as an excavation of the area where the first remains were found. He testified that a forensic anthropologist from Fort Lewis College was brought him to help them sift through the area using screens and buckets. A metal detector was also used over the area, he said.

Credit: Courtesy La Plata County Sheriff's Office
A look at the steep, wooded terrain off Middle Mountain where Dylan Redwine's body was found.

Just prior to the lunch break, Ezzell went over Mark Redwine's employment records between April 2011 and Nov. 2012. He often worked out of town, and according to his work records during that time frame, Mark Redwine was present in Colorado 94 of the 577 days.

Using records, Ezzell testified that he determined after Labor Day 2012 that Mark Redwine and Dylan Redwine were not in Colorado together at any point until Nov. 18, 2012, which is the day Dylan Redwine was last seen.

However, during, cross-examination, the defense used a text message exchange to show there was another time when Dylan and Mark were in the Durango area at the same time.

RELATED: Phone data shows how often Dylan Redwine’s father tried to call him after he disappeared

Ezzell said he reviewed electronic records from Dylan's devices on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18 and said there was "frequent" communication between Dylan and others, but that all communication by Dylan ceased at 9:37 p.m. that night.

When asked about Dylan's last known whereabouts, Ezzell replied, "Mark Redwine is the last person known to have been seen with Dylan Redwine when he was alive."

He returned to the stand for cross examination Thursday afternoon where the defense team noted that numerous remains from cows were found on the ridge above where Dylan's skull was found. Ezzell was asked if they ever determined what killed the cows, and he replied they had not. 

Despite intense questioning from the defense, Ezzell was adamant that no animal bones of any kind were found in the immediate vicinity of where the skull was found. He's said they had searched the area from about 200 feet below where the skull was found and worked their way up.

He was also asked about items that belonged to Dylan that have never been located and conceded that there could be items of interest that have not yet been found.

9NEWS is providing daily digital updates on the Mark Redwine trial. For our full coverage, visit www.9news.com/dylanredwine.


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