Evelyn Mae Boswell's mother caused 'fatal delay' by giving false tips to cops searching for missing toddler
The remains of the 15-month-old girl were found on March 6, more than two months after she was last seen
SULLIVAN COUNTY, TENNESSEE: More than two months after authorities found the dead body of toddler Evelyn Mae Boswell, some progress has been made in the case and a "person of interest" has been identified.
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) previously reported that an AMBER Alert had been issued after the 15-month-old girl had been reported missing on February 18 by her maternal grandfather Tommy Sr. and that from the very beginning, there were several irregularities in her disappearance.
For one, she had not been seen since December 26. When questioned, her 18-year-old mother, Megan Boswell, reportedly gave many conflicting statements, including falsely claiming that her mother Angela had taken the toddler and that she was pregnant with her second child.
She first told police that her daughter was with her father, Ethan Perry, and even detailed a plan to pick her up from him at the parking lot of a grocery store. When asked about the same, Ethan, who was on active duty and stationed in Louisana at the time, said he did not have the young girl.
Meghan then pointed the finger at her mother and urged the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to search a campground in Mendota, Virginia where she alleged Angela was keeping the 15-month-old tot in a silver camper.
However, an extensive search of the property turned up nothing.
Authorities still issued a BOLO regarding a gray 2007 BMW, which was found to be driven by Angela and her boyfriend, William McLoud. She was subsequently charged with possession of stolen property and probation violation charges.
"Every time we talk to her, her story changes," Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said of Megan. "I'm serious when I say that. Every single time."
Megan was arrested on February 25 and charged with providing false reports, with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office claiming that her false tips cost them thousands of dollars and made them lose valuable time in their search for Evelyn.
At the same time, authorities were receiving hundreds of tips from around the country, and on March 6, were led to a property shared by her father, mother, and brother where they found the toddler's dead body in a shed.
The 15-month-old was wearing the "exact clothing" was wearing when she went missing. Other clothing, diapers, and toys that would have belonged to the child were also found on the property.
While breakthroughs have remained scarce, earlier this week, police announced they had identified a "person of interest" in the case, though they have not released their identity.
The mother, who saw her bail increased from $25,000 to $150,000 after the discovery of her daughter's remains, has not been charged with the murder and may yet walk free.
During a virtual hearing conducted over video conference this week where she was scheduled to be arraigned, prosecutor Teresa Nelson asked for the arraignment to be pushed back to a later date since her team is still reviewing more than 25 hours of interview authorities conducted with the 18-year-old.
The delay meant her case cannot be submitted to a grand jury, with the judge ultimately agreeing to reschedule the arraignment for June 19. The judge also set a bail reduction hearing for May 28.
Investigators are still waiting on autopsy results, forensic evidence, and lab results, and Sullivan County Sheriff's Office Captain Joey Strickler said this could take over a month. He said a lot of work needs to be done before they'll be ready to make any indictment in the case, and that it's impossible to say right now when that could happen.
Strickler revealed that investigators have not interviewed any members of Megan's family since Evelyn's body was found and they still do not know how she died, but that they are still following up on any lead they receive.
"What we have seen, and what we’ve been through, and the fight that we’ve had, which has been overwhelming, frustrating," he said. "There’s so many things that went on in this case that the general public doesn’t see. We all want justice for Evelyn. We all want that."