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Friends gather in park for Dylan's birthday
2/7/2013 By: Melanie B. Mazur
About 75 friends of Dylan Redwine gathered in Joe Stephenson Park Wednesday night for his 14th birthday. Anne Cook, the mother of one of Dylan’s friends, read the prayer of St. Anthony, the saint of lost people.
A group of teenage boys remembered some of the good times they had together with the boy who has been missing from Vallecito since Nov. 19. They said if Dylan were home and celebrating his birthday, they would be having a sleepover, eating pizza and playing video games.
There was even a birthday cake, hot chocolate, and a big birthday card.
The only thing missing was Dylan, last seen in Durango on Nov. 18. His father, Mark Redwine, reported him missing the next day from his home in Vallecito.
“We never thought we would be standing here 80 days later,” said Denise Hess of Bayfield, a friend of Elaine Redwine’s who has been leading the volunteer search efforts to find the boy. “We want to show the world, and Elaine and Dylan’s family, that we still have hope.”
Hess thanked all of the volunteers who have posted missing flyers and shared Dylan’s image on Facebook and social media. She also thanked the area businesses that have donated goods and services for the search and fundraisers, as well as those that still have signs hanging with Dylan’s image on them.
Even though Dylan is still missing, there are small victories in his search. The Find Dylan Redwine page on Facebook has 10,000 likes and an estimated reach of hundreds of thousands of computer users.
The reward for information in his disappearance is at $50,450, all raised by volunteers and donors in a little over two months.
“This is all because of you,” Hess told the crowd.
Parents, youths and little children told the crowd how they wanted Dylan to come home and wished him a happy birthday.
At 7 p.m., the group sang Happy Birthday and shined their flashlights in the air. Groups also gathered and sang at that time in Monument, where Dylan’s mother and brother live, along with birthday rallies in Farmington and Westminster. The Westminster event was attended by the mother of Jessica Ridgeway, who was abducted and murdered in Colorado in 2012.
Another sad spot in the evening was a rumor that a body had been found in Vallecito and it was Dylan’s. The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that investigators didn’t know if it was a cruel prank or if someone was grossly misinformed.
Anyone with information on Dylan’s whereabouts is asked to call Crimestoppers at 247-1112 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at (800) 8433-5678.
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