DURANGO, Colorado — The father of a boy missing for six months is criticizing how missing children's cases are handled by authorities, saying they should have issued an Amber Alert once they learned his son had disappeared.
Mark Redwine said the public was not notified by authorities when Dylan Redwine first went missing Nov. 19 from the Vallecito area because the case didn't meet the criteria for an official alert.
Law enforcement officers have to confirm a child has been abducted before issuing an alert, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Mark Redwine said no child who is missing should have to wait for certain criteria to be met before the public is notified and an alert sent out.
"I am asking that we stop and evaluate the process as a community, to come up with a more productive approach in the search for Dylan and missing children across the country," he wrote in a statement. "No child who is missing should have to wait for certain criteria to be met before the public is notified and an alert be sent out."
He also complained that the La Plata County Sheriff's Office only assigned five investigators to the case.
A spokesman for the sheriff's office did not return a call Monday seeking comment.
Mark Redwine said in an interview Friday with The Durango Herald (http://tinyurl.com/l6sd26k) that the most critical time is in the first one to three days and that everything possible should have been done to find his son.
Dylan Redwine arrived in Durango Nov. 18, 2012, for a court-ordered visitation with Mark Redwine during the Thanksgiving break.
Mark Redwine reported he last saw Dylan around 7:30 a.m. Nov. 19 before leaving to run errands in Durango. He said he returned home at 11:30 a.m. to find Dylan gone and reported the 13-year-old missing around 6 p.m. that day.
Authorities searched Vallecito Reservoir in April after search dogs picked up a scent by the lake.
Mark Redwine's ex-wife, Elaine Redwine, said she thinks law enforcement at first "dropped the ball in assuming he was a runaway" but that she now believes they are "going in the right direction."
Information from: Durango Herald, http://www.durangoherald.com