Published: April 30, 2013
A search for the body of a missing Monument boy using high-tech sonar eliminated some areas of a high mountain lake where cadaver dogs alerted to the scent of human remains.
But Vallecito Lake hasn't been ruled out completely, said Denise Hess, who is leading a search of volunteers for Dylan Redwine.
Bad weather didn't help, she said. The search last week was hit with high winds and snow, and the entire lake was not searched because of limited funds. The team from Idaho did the search at no charge, but expenses had to be covered.
Redwine, 14, disappeared from his father's home in the rugged Vallecito area in the southwest part of the state Nov. 19, 2012.
The search was done under wraps to keep from drawing media attention and prevent anyone who may have known the location of a body from moving it, Hess said.
'The conclusion for us is that in the areas of the lake that we searched, we feel confident there is no body there, ' she said Tuesday.
The search for Redwine has drawn national attention, including two days on the Dr. Phil Show. Like everything else, the show was inconclusive.
The investigation into the case by a team led by the La Plata County Sheriff's Office has failed to turn up anything, and multiple searches have been fruitless. The sheriff's office could not be reached for comment.
Hess said more dogs will be brought in as searchers try to narrow down spots a body might be found and the weather improves.
'We think it's very good news that we didn't find anything in the lake, ' she said. 'We're always hopeful that Dylan is out there somewhere. '
Gene Ralston, a member of the team that did the search, said he is '95 percent sure ' that there was no body in the two areas they searched.
'There's always a chance that he is there and that we missed him, ' Ralston said.
The areas searched were along the dam and outlet and near a stump where human remains were detected by dogs.
The lake, he said, was not particularly difficult to search.
'The bottom is really clean, except for the occasional stump and woody debris. For the most part, it is very clean, ' Ralston said.
Ralston said the team is not expecting to return unless new clues indicate other areas of the lake in which a body might be found.
But he urged the local group not to give up.
'Obviously they need to keep searching, ' he said. 'I think everything points to him not being alive anymore and his body being somewhere. My guess is he's probably on land. '