Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Missing, Now Found: JoAnn Nichols and Dylan Redwine

JoAnn Nichols

JoAnn Nichols

JoAnn Nichols

The remains of two missing persons were found this week. JoAnn Nichols has been missing since 1985 and Dylan Redwine since November 2012. Both cases are being investigated as homicides.

Investigators recovered the skeletonized remains of missing Poughkeepsie woman JoAnn Nichols in her home on July 3, 2013. Nichols, who had been missing 28 years, was found with her hands bound with rope, wrapped in a sheet, inside a large plastic bin, sealed in a false wall in the now-garbage-filled house she had shared with her late husband, James Nichols. According to Dutchess County Medical Examiner Dr. Kari Reiber, “A large area of the right side of the skull was also missing.” Not surprisingly, the autopsy concluded that cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Investigators were able to gain entry and search the house after James Nichols’ relatives were unable to claim his body or his property. His estate is currently being administered by the county.

According to her profile on the NameUs database, JoAnn Nichols, then 55, disappeared on December 21, 1985, from Poughkeepsie, New York. Her husband, who has since died of natural causes at the ripe old age of 82, reported her missing after she missed a hair appointment. Investigators found her locked car in the parking lot of a local mall. None of her personal items was missing, and banking and credit card records did not turn up any leads.

Police kept the case open, reviewing it each year, believing that someone had knowledge of JoAnn Nichols’ fate. It’s now safe to say that that person was probably her husband.

Dylan Redwine

Dylan Redwine

Dylan Redwine

The LaPlata County Sherriff’s office announced on June 27, 2013, that they found the remains of missing teen Dylan Redwine, 13, in the Middle Mountain area near Vallecito, where Dylan went missing last November. Search teams were reportedly conducting follow-up searches of the area in which Dylan disappeared after the snow in those areas melted; they were not acting on new information. Dylan’s father, Mark Redwine, has said that he believes that his son was abducted while walking the six miles to a friend’s house. Sheriffs are treating Dylan’s death as a homicide.

According to the Facebook page set up for Dylan, on November 18, 2012, Dylan Redwine’s flight to Durango Airport, in La Plata County Colorado landed, and he was recorded by the security cameras as he left with his father. That day security cameras at a local Walmart recorded Dylan shopping with his father. Dylan’s friends, who were expecting a visit, received a text from his phone at 6:30 a.m. on the 19th rescheduling his visit. His father reported to police that he let Dylan sleep the next morning while he left to run some errands, then took a nap when he got home. Dylan was gone when he awoke.

Mark Redwine drove to the friends’ house looking for Dylan, but when the boy’s friends said that they had been unable to contact, Mark Redwine reported his son missing to Marshals. Subsequent searches turned up nothing and sightings of Dylan could not be substantiated. Cause of death has not yet been determined.

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