Elaine Hatfield Hall, the mother of Dylan Redwine, is tired, happy, confused and missing her son.
“It’s been a long day,” Hall said Saturday afternoon, hours after she had learned about the arrest of her ex-husband, Mark Redwine. “The media’s been all over it. I’m tired.”
Most of all, she’s grateful an arrest has been made.
“I knew from the beginning I was right,” she said of her suspicions of her ex-husband. “It supports my feeling about this all along. We always wanted the correct killer to be tried, and I think that’s exactly where it was at.”
While waiting more than four years for an arrest has been frustrating, “I don’t blame anybody but Mark,” she said. “He’s the one who did this to Dylan. The blame needs to be put squarely on his shoulders.”
She, her husband, Michael Hall, and her oldest son, Cory Redwine, have experienced a mix of feelings in the past day.
“But this whole journey has been a basket of emotions,” she said.
She believes it took a new sheriff and district attorney to get an arrest in the case.
“If the old people were still there, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” she said. “I’m grateful we had a new change of leadership, and the new people who have come in and actually cared about Dylan’s case.”
Hall said she did not know about some of the specifics that were included in the indictment, but in a way, having the case laid out in public “is kind of comforting,” she said.
“I want to thank everybody who has been working on this case, law enforcement, and everybody involved on that end.”
Hall is sad her friend Denise Hess, who organized the first searches for Dylan and was a tireless advocate for him, is not able to know about this latest development. Hess died in October of cancer.
“She keeps me strong still,” Hall said.
Hall’s friends, who call themselves Dylan’s Warriors, were shocked and thrilled to hear about the arrest.
“A lot of the Warriors have been here since day one,” said Anne Cook, a Bayfield mother whose daughter was a friend of Dylan’s. “We’re elated that the next step is going to happen. It’s a new beginning, a new chapter, and justice will prevail.”
Cook and a handful of friends take care of a memorial bench with Dylan’s name on it in the Pine River Cemetery. The family and some of Dylan’s friends from childhood had an 18th birthday party for him there on Feb. 6.
“We knew the time was coming,” Cook said of the indictment. “Time was on our side. It’s been 1,706 days since he was killed, or 243 weeks and five days. We’ve never stopped looking, and we’ve never stopped praying for justice.”
The indictment is a relief to Dylan’s friend and residents of Bayfield and Vallecito.
“I’m glad justice is finally coming to Elaine and Cory and everyone who has been waiting so long,” said Jackson Sibley, who has been friends with Dylan since kindergarten. During Bayfield’s graduation in May, his classmates wore blue-and-silver ribbons in Dylan’s memory. A chair with his photo, a class flower and a graduation cap was set up amid other members of the graduating class.
“It’s very good for the community and everyone who has been so involved in this investigation for so long,” Sibley said. “I couldn’t be more glad.”
Sibley said when his friend first disappeared, he didn’t think Mark Redwine was involved. But as the weeks passed, he talked frequently with Hall, “and we never heard a thing from Mark about anything. I pretty much thought it was Mark.”
Hall’s friend Lisa Bourque, of Vallecito, said residents in the small lakeside community feel better with the latest development.
“We can’t put it behind us, but at least it gives us closure that there’s not a murderer running around,” she said.
Redwine has rarely been at his Vallecito home since his son’s disappearance, but he would return occasionally and stay for a few days at a time.
Bourque and Cook also thanked the investigators for pursuing the case for the past four years.
“It is so great that we finally have a DA that wants to do his job, and a sheriff that believed he didn’t run away,” Bourque said of District Attorney Christian Champagne and Sheriff Sean Smith. “They did their jobs. They are the heroes to that family.”
She also thanked Tonya Golbricht, the lead investigator on the case for the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.
“The stuff that girl did,” Bourque said. “It was amazing.”