Just a few days after his remains were found and confirmed in La Plata County, 13-year-old Dylan Redwine was remembered by friends and relatives Saturday.
A large crowd gathered at Eagle Park in Dylan's hometown of Bayfield, east of Durango, to celebrate his life and share memories of him.
"We still have questions about what happened to him," said Rev. Dan Straw, who spoke during the ceremony. "And once we know more, we'll have answers. But tonight, let's not talk about his death. Let's celebrate his life."
The crowd lit candles and wrote personal messages on stones from a nearby waterway where Dylan played with his best friends. Those friends gathered the stones on Saturday before the ceremony. The stones will be part of a memorial garden for Dylan.
Dylan grew up in Bayfield and recently moved to live with his mother, Elaine Redwine, in Monument. Elaine and Dylan's father, Mark Redwine, are divorcing.
Dylan disappeared in November while on a court-ordered visit to his father near Durango. Mark Redwine said he came home from running errands to find Dylan missing. Investigators said Dylan's remains were on a steep mountainside around 10 miles from his father's home near Vallecito Lake.
Redwine said although he and Elaine have been bitter toward each other at times -- both seeking custody of Dylan and even blaming each other for Dylan's death -- he wants to reach out to her and their older son, Cory.
"I don't know what to say to you," he said as he looked at them while addressing the crowd. "I'm feeling the same pain that you are. Dylan means a lot to all of us."
Elaine Redwine declined to respond to Mark Redwine's remarks. She chose instead to focus on her relief at finally knowing Dylan's fate.
"Most of the time, I know Dylan's at peace," she said. "I think the reason (Dylan) helped us find him, is so we could be at peace for him."
Funeral arrangements, and a memorial ceremony in Monument, have yet to be determined.
At the close of Saturday's ceremony, Rev. Straw said, "We'll never get over losing Dylan. But together, we can get through it and come out stronger."
Authorities still have no suspect or person of interest in the case. They said the latest search was following up previous searches they conducted when snow was on the ground. The case remains a criminal investigation.