He had a court-mandated visitation with his estranged dad
Every once in a while, a case comes to light where a parent (who has a strained relationship with their child) winds up harming them when they finally get custody of them due to a court-ordered visitation. You may feel like children should always spend time with both of their parents, but when that child refuses to go because their parent makes them uncomfortable with their actions, should they be forced to be alone with them? The truth that came out of the following visitation story five years later may change the rules.
A Missing Child
Dylan and his older brother Cory hadn’t seen much of their father Mark in two years. Mark got into a heated argument with his then-wife Elaine Hall and the boys two years before. Cory said, “It was kind of one of the biggest things that impacted everybody’s relationship with Mark.” Elaine moved away with the boys and went about divorcing Mark, which involved a bitter custody battle. She got primary custody, but the boys were obligated to spend some time with Mark. Dylan was growing increasingly uncomfortable with Mark and didn’t want to see him again, but he was required to spend Thanksgiving with his dad.
Dylan flew into Durango-La Plata County Airport for the court-ordered visit on November 18, 2012. He asked to sleep at a friend’s house but Mark refused. Dylan instead said that he would meet his friends at 6:30 a.m. the next morning. He never showed up… much to his friend’s worry.
Mark claimed that he last saw Dylan at 7:30 AM on November 19 and that he had disappeared by 11:30 a.m. when he returned from running errands. Mark told Elaine that afternoon that he couldn’t find Dylan, and he was reported missing by Mark by 6 p.m. that day.
A massive search was launched by local authorities and the FBI. By Monday, November 26, Elaine was claiming that Mark had something to do with it.
When Elaine told investigators that Mark may be the culprit, they spoke with people close to him about it. His ex-wife Betsy Horvath claimed that Mark told her he would use the mountains to dispose of a body if he had to; during their divorce proceedings, he told her he would “kill the kids before he let her have them.” Mark’s house was searched on November 29 but nothing suspicious was found.
Mark and Elaine appeared on the Dr. Phil Show for the first time in February 2013 to discuss the case, but authorities still felt like they couldn’t nail Mark for any wrongdoing. There was still no sign of the missing child anyway. That was until June 27, 2013 when Dylan’s partial remains were found on an ATV trail eight miles down Middle Mountain Road.
Police searched Mark’s house again and found what they believed to be Dylan’s blood stains all over the living room, yet they couldn’t say for sure that the blood wasn’t from an earlier accident. On June 29, 2013, Elaine filed a wrongful death suit against Mark, but it was dismissed due to it violating the two-year statute of limitations.
In 2015, Dylan’s skull was found farther up the trail from where his bones were found two years earlier; it was believed that the skull had been moved to that location by a person. The skull had two blunt force trauma wounds made by a knife. Cadaver dogs were finally sent out in 2015 where they indicated that they smelled a corpse in Mark’s truck. The death was then classified as a homicide, and Mark was finally named a person of interest in the death on August 19, 2015.
Mark was arrested on July 22, 2017 in Bellingham, Washington for second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death. He has a $1 million cash-only bond.
When they were trying to establish a motive for why Mark would kill his son, his brother Cory stepped up to talk about why they were becoming uncomfortable around Mark all those years ago. Cory explained that the boys found “pretty graphic” pictures of their father on his laptop earlier in 2012. Cory explained, “They show him wearing women’s clothes and makeup and a diaper and then eating his feces from the diaper. It was disgusting. We couldn’t believe it. They definitely changed my opinion about him.”
Deeply disturbed by what he saw, Dylan asked Cory to give him the pictures so that when he was forced to see Mark during Thanksgiving, he would confront him about it. Cory continued, “Dylan was getting old enough to speak his mind; we encouraged him to. We encouraged him to tell him how he felt. You should always be able to tell your dad how you feel, and have some sort of understanding. He was definitely going down there with a bigger voice than we had before.” Dylan’s mother said about the horrific event, “He may have said something that just didn’t set well with Mark and Mark reacted in a very violent way… obviously. Dylan is no longer here.”
Cory is relieved that Mark will finally go to court for the death, but it’s been a struggle for him these last five years. He said, “Every day was different. Certain days I felt stronger we would get [news], and certain days I wondered if we would ever [get justice], if it would ever happen We didn’t know what Mark had done with him but from the very beginning we knew he was involved. Mark’s arrest makes us happy and relieved that justice is actually on its way to getting served for my little brother.”
According to Mark’s indictment, when Cory told the public about this photo scandal, Mark’s friends confronted him at his house, and he attempted to hurl a log at them.
Do you believe that children should be forced to spend time with people that they feel uncomfortable about seeing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and SHARE this story with your loved ones.