Dylan Redwine, 12, went missing last November during a visit with his father. Searchers found his remains yesterday and are treating the case as a criminal investigation.
"The parents are obviously devastated. It's not the kind of news we were hoping to give them. We were hoping to find him alive. Our hearts are broken that this is the end result," Lt. Ray Shupe told the Associated Press.
Dylan went missing during a court-ordered visitation with his father, Mark. He claimed that he was running errands and returned home to find that Dylan was gone. Police have not named Mark as a suspect in the case, but he and Dylan's mother, Elaine, appeared on an episode of "Dr. Phil" and accused one another of having something to do with the disappearance.
The five-day search ended when teams found Dylan's remains as well as a piece of his shirt, one sock and shoestrings. Searchers did not find the backpack or another item that Dylan had on the day of his disappearance.
"We have been working this and will continue to work this as a criminal investigation and not an accident," Dan Bender of the sheriff's office told CBS.
"I cannot wrap my head around this," Mark said after the remains were found. "You can never be prepared for something like this. I am reaching out to his mom so he can have a proper burial. Making sure he gets a proper burial and the respect he deserves is what I have to focus on."
The entire community has been left with a sense of grief, even though they somewhat expected that Dylan would not be found alive.
"Everyone was in anticipation and hoping they'd find something," Lisa Crombie, who works at a local restaurant, told The Denver Post. "It stars you in the face. By putting up posters and keeping his face around, it very well made it to the point that no one ever did give up hope. I don't think anyone ever really stopped thinking of him."