Mark Redwine case: Pillowcase didn’t have Dylan’s scent

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An investigator also went over a video taken by drone of areas on Middle Mountain where Dylan’s remains were found.

LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. — A dog handler testified Thursday 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 during a court-ordered visit with his father in the Vallecito area.

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

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.

>The video above is from earlier in the 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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

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’ll return to the stand for cross examination Thursday afternoon.

9NEWS is providing daily digital updates on the Mark Redwine trial. For our full coverage, visit


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