BLOUNTVILLE, TENN. — Remains found earlier this month in Tennessee have been confirmed to belong to 15-month-old girl Evelyn Mae Boswell.
Officials discovered her remains after a 17-day search across three states for the missing toddler. An Amber Alert was issued more than two weeks ago, but authorities have said she hadn’t been seen since at least December.
The remains were sent for autopsy. Authorities acting on a tip found the remains on a property in Blountville that is owned by a relative of Evelyn’s mother, the sheriff said.
Evelyn’s mother, Megan Boswell, 18, was arrested Feb. 25 on a charge of filing a false report. Authorities said her inaccurate and conflicting statements had impeded the investigation.
She initially told state investigators that Evelyn was with the child’s father, Ethan Perry, according to court documents from her arraignment. But Perry is stationed with the U.S. Army at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and did not have Evelyn.
Megan Boswell later said her mother, Angela Boswell, took her daughter to a campground in Mendota, Virginia, not far from Tennessee's Sullivan County. Authorities searched multiple campgrounds in that area and found no sign of the girl, the TV station said.
Angela Boswell herself was arrested the week before her daughter was taken into custody. She and her boyfriend, William McCloud, were arrested in North Carolina on fugitive warrants unrelated to Evelyn's case, authorities had said. Authorities looking for Evelyn searched a pond in the county where they were arrested.
Angela Boswell told a judge in North Carolina that she wanted to go home and resolve the situation with her granddaughter, news outlets reported at the time. She was subsequently returned to the Sullivan County jail a day before her daughter joined her there, and arraigned on a theft charge.
Bail for Megan Boswell remains at $25,000 after a judge rejected a request to lower it from her lawyer, who cited her lack of a previous criminal record. The lawyer waived a preliminary hearing and the case was sent to a grand jury, with her next appearance scheduled for early May.
Investigators with the TBI believed Evelyn’s mother and grandmother had information about her whereabouts. The Amber Alert issued for Evelyn said she was last seen Dec. 26, but authorities said they weren’t sure of the date because of the mother’s and grandmother’s conflicting accounts.
Authorities stressed that the investigation was ongoing and there was limited information to provide Friday. The identity of the property owner wasn't revealed, and authorities didn't indicate whether there have been any additional arrests or charges. The district's attorney general, Barry Staubus, said authorities would evaluate the case once the investigation was complete.
“Based on what’s happened tonight, there’s a lot of work to be done: forensically and just old-fashioned investigative work," Staubus said.
A search conducted last month in Wilkes County, North Carolina in connection with a 15-month-old Tennessee girl who is the subject of an Amber Alert proved “inconclusive,” officials said.
Channel 9’s Dave Faherty was at the pond as crews searched in Traphill, north of Wilkesboro.
Channel 9 could see investigators with the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office along with firefighters from Sherrills Ford around the pond.
The Sheriff’s Office said the search was inconclusive and that nothing was found.
Investigators said Evelyn Mae Boswell from Sullivan County, Tennessee was last seen Dec. 26, 2019 but was not reported missing until Feb. 18.
The girl’s mother, 18-year-old Megan Boswell, was charged Tuesday with one count of filing a false police report, according to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.
Megan Boswell had provided detectives with “a number of conflicting statements” during the course of the investigation, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office. Investigators said they determined some of the information she gave them was false.
Megan Boswell had said the toddler’s grandmother took the little girl to Mendota, Virginia.
Angela Boswell, 42, -- the baby’s grandmother -- and William McCloud, 33, were found traveling in a car that was reported stolen, and arrested in Wilkes County last Friday, according to investigators.
Investigators had said they were looking for that gray 2007 BMW because the people inside may have information about Evelyn’s whereabouts.
The two were taken into custody on charges unrelated to the girl’s disappearance and were being questioned as part of the ongoing investigation, officials said.
Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the pond in Wilkes County Wednesday that officials said is less than a mile from where Angela Boswell and William McCloud were arrested.
McCloud’s grandmother lives next to the pond and told Channel 9 the two showed up at her home in Traphill asking for money to get out of North Carolina.
She said her grandson was wet and explained why.
“That he had been at a motel and the pipe burst and he got his feet wet and somebody stole his money and he needed money to get back to Bristol,” Mary McCloud said.
Channel 9 asked if she thought her grandson could have had any involvement in baby Evelyn’s disappearance.
“I don’t know. He’s devious enough. His record from youth up, he’s been devious enough to be involved in something,” she said.
Deputies said Angela Boswell and William McCloud have been extradited back to Tennessee.
Investigators said all the information from Wednesday’s search was reported back to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations.
Call the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office at 423-279-7330 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND (824-3463) if you have any information about the case or where Evelyn may be.
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