With pizza, sodas, balloons and cake, it could have been a typical birthday party for any 18-year-old boy.
Except the boy is gone.
More than four years after his disappearance, friends and family gathered at a memorial bench at Pine River Cemetery in Bayfield Monday to commemorate Dylan Redwine.
The 13-year-old boy disappeared before Thanksgiving of 2012 while visiting his father, Mark Redwine, during a court-ordered visit in Vallecito. In June of 2013, partial remains of his body were found on Middle Mountain. The La Plata County Sheriff's Office determined his death was a homicide and said Mark Redwine was a person of interest, but he has not been charged with any crime in connection with his son's disappearance.
Monday was Dylan's birthday, and he would have been 18 years old. His mother and her second husband, Elaine and Michael Hall, gathered with her friends and Dylan's classmates to remember him.
"This is obviously very hard," Elaine Hall said to the gathering of about two dozen people. "Thank you so much for coming. We appreciate it."
La Plata County Sheriff Sean Smith and two sheriff's investigators were in attendance, along with Christian Champagne, the district attorney.
Three of Dylan's boyhood friends attended, Wes Herring, Jackson Sibley and Ryan Nava. They blew out the birthday candles on his cake which were quickly lit and re-lit as they blew out in the cold February weather. Joseph Hemphill of Durango Aerial Photography brought his drone to record the event.
While there are many people she appreciates for continuing to advocate for her son, Hall thanked Hiedi Lewis of Floral Expressions for providing the flowers that continue to decorate Dylan's memorial bench in the cemetery. Mini Merc and AJ's Pizza donated the pizza for the gathering.