NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Authorities have found remains they believe belong to Evelyn Boswell, a 15-month-old Tennessee girl who went missing amid conflicting, changing stories from family members.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents and Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office detectives said they discovered remains Friday on property owned by a relative of the toddler’s mother, Megan Boswell, in Blountville, about 120 miles northeast of Knoxville.
The remains will be sent for an autopsy and official identification, the TBI confirmed.
“I want to thank the community for their outpouring of love, support and prayers for the last 17 days,” Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said at a brief news conference Friday evening.
Authorities did not offer further details about the discovery Friday, nor did they publicly name a suspect in the child’s apparent death. Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus stressed “there’s a lot of work to be done forensically” and they are in the beginning stages of the investigation.
Evelyn vanished sometime in December, officials said, but wasn’t reported missing by her family until Feb. 18, when Evelyn’s grandfather told the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services that certain family members hadn’t seen her in two months.
The case was referred to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, which launched an investigation with the assistance of the TBI and the FBI. An Amber Alert was issued for the missing child on Feb. 19, drawing hundreds of tips in a probe that eventually grew to span three states.
Evelyn’s mother, 18-year-old Megan “Maggie” Boswell, stood accused of lying to police from the moment the investigation began.
“Every time we talk to her, her story changes,” Cassidy said at a news conference last month. “I’m serious when I say that. Every single time.”
The mother, who is Evelyn’s sole legal guardian, initially said the child was with her father, Ethan Perry, before insisting Evelyn’s maternal grandmother, Angela Boswell, had taken her to a campground in Mendota, Virginia.
Investigators determined Perry was stationed in Louisiana on active duty in the Army and that he did not have Evelyn. Authorities also found no evidence the child had been taken across state lines.
Megan Boswell was arrested on a charge of making a false report. She remained jailed at last check on $25,000 bond.
Two days after the TBI issued an Amber Alert for the missing child, Angela Boswell and her boyfriend, William McCloud, were arrested in North Carolina, accused of fleeing town in a stolen car shortly after her ex-husband reported the toddler missing.
Angela Boswell and McCloud were extradited to Tennessee, where they each face a charge of theft in connection to the stolen car, a 2007 BMW. They have since bonded out of jail.
According to the theft warrant, Megan Boswell planned to buy the BMW from a relative of her boyfriend, Preston Hunter Wood, for her mother but never signed a purchase agreement or paid for the car.
McCloud’s grandmother, Mary McCloud, later told authorities McCloud came to her house in North Carolina in the BMW and asked for money. She said he was wet and claimed a pipe had burst in a hotel room in which he and Angela Boswell had stayed. Angela Boswell, she said, stayed in the car during her grandson’s brief visit.
That encounter led authorities to search a pond near Mary McCloud’s home. The search netted nothing, however, and the couple was returned to Sullivan County.
The investigation remains active at this time.
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