MONUMENT, Colo. - Family and friends of a boy missing since November gathered at Limbach Park in Monument to remember him and hope for his safe return.
Wednesday was Dylan Redwine's 14th birthday. He disappeared just before Thanksgiving from his father's home near Durango. His whereabouts and the circumstances of his disappearance remain a mystery.
Family and friends held a birthday party in Dylan's memory. The party included a birthday cake with candles and the words "Hope for Dylan" written in icing. The crowd, estimated at more than 100 people, also released balloons, shined flashlights and sang "Happy Birthday."
"We wish he would be home," said Dylan's mother, Elaine Redwine. "But we have to do something to keep his face out there. He's missed so many other holidays."
Cory Redwine, Dylan's older brother, spoke to the crowd and led a prayer.
"This is probably the hardest day of all of them so far," said Redwine, referring to the two-and-a-half months since his brother's disappearance. "What should be a day of celebration has been a pretty good day of pain."
"Knowing him, he probably wanted (to play) a bunch of videos," said Maria Goodall of her grandson. "He's a video fanatic."
Eighth-grader Micah Brink was an occasional classmate of the missing teen.
"He always seemed happy," said Brink. "He had a lot of friends. He just always seemed vibrant and filled with color."
Organizers distributed stickers with Redwine's picture, and remain confident that he's alive and will come home soon.
Elaine Redwine said a New Mexico woman with a team of dogs will help search for Dylan. A private investigator and well-known bail bondsman Bobby Brown of Colorado Springs are helping also.
"This is personal to me because the Redwines are my neighbors," said Brown. "The resources that we have, we think we can bring some new life in this case. (It) hasn't gotten a lot of (attention from) the national media, but tonight I got two calls from the New York media."
The reward for information that leads to finding Dylan is now up to $50,000.