LA PLATA COUNTY, C.O. (KRQE) – A law passed with the help of Dylan Redwine’s mom is now making a difference in some high-profile cases. Redwine’s mom, Elaine Hatfield-Hall, was instrumental in getting the law passed.
“It’s kind of like deja vu,” said Hatfield-Hall. “It’s kind of like reliving Dylan’s status as missing and his murder all over again.”
Hatfield-Hall says there will never be closure. Her son, Dylan, 13 years old, was last seen alive in Nov. 2012, just outside Durango, Colo. His partial remains were found seven months later and his skull was found nearly three years after he went missing. In July 2017, his dad, Mark Redwine, was arrested in his death.
Hatfield-Hall worked with Laura Saxton, whose daughter, Kelsie Schelling, was murdered and her body never found. They helped pass a new law, creating harsher penalties for tampering with a dead body.
“There was very little penalty for anyone who tampered with a corpse or evidence of any type of homicide,” said Hatfield-Hall. “Now, it’s a felony and it’s been used throughout Colorado almost on every murder case that we’ve seen. That’s really exciting for those of us that were, three of us really, that lost our children, that worked on this law.”
The law, § 18-8-610.5, makes tampering with a dead body a class 3 felony in Colorado, and those convicted can face up to 12 years in prison for each charge. It’s since been used in cases like the 2018 murders of the pregnant Shan’Ann Watts and daughters Bella and Celeste.
Shan’Ann’s husband Chris buried her in a shallow grave and dumped the bodies of their two little girls in an oil tub. He received five life sentences.
“This is perhaps the most inhumane and vicious crime that I have handled out of the thousands of cases I have seen,” said Judge Marcelo Kopcow, who presided over Watts’ case.
More recently, prosecutors say 11-year-old Gannon Stauch left his Colorado Springs home with his stepmom, Letecia Stauch, last month and never returned. Letecia is charged with his murder and tampering with a body and evidence. The search for his remains continues.
Hatfield-Hall says it’s heartbreaking to see these cases continue, but she’s glad the penalties are getting steeper.
“We really need to stop the domestic violence that happens in our families,” said Hatfield-Hall. “These children have been victims of their own families and it just breaks my heart. It breaks my heart. It’s certainly something I’ve had to deal with.”
Mark Redwine, Dylan’s father, faces a charge of second-degree murder. His trial is scheduled to begin in just a few weeks. Opening statements will likely start on April 6 and the trial is expected to last five weeks.