The grandfather of missing toddler Evelyn Boswell says "all we want is justice for Evelyn and whoever is responsible to pay for the crime," as authorities officially identified her remains, which were found on his property days ago.
Tommy Boswell Sr. reported Evelyn missing on Feb. 18. Her body was discovered at his Tennessee residence inside a shed Friday night, according to the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The sad discovery followed new information provided to authorities, the TBI said. With the remains were diapers, toys and other items of clothing, according to authorities.
The 15-month-old's body, clad in a pink track suit and pink shoes, were formally identified Wednesday following an autopsy. Her cause of death was not released, and prosecutors sealed the autopsy report, citing overwhelming attention and speculation about the case.
Such documents are normally public records in Tennessee.
Boswell issued a statement Wednesday on behalf of Evelyn's family, but notably excluded Evelyn's grandmother, Angela Boswell, who is his ex-wife.
“The immediate Boswell family (excluding Angela Jones Boswell) of Evelyn are in anguish and grief over their loss. It has been a very rough and trying time for everyone. At this time they do not want to speak publicly in regards to the tragedy. They are still trying to process what has happened. They ask for media and the public to respect their wishes. They need more time to grieve, privately," he said.
The grandfather also cited threats against relatives of Evelyn Boswell. "There has been a lot of hate, threats, and lies thrown at members of the family not involved in the disappearance of Evelyn," he said, without explanation.
The child's 18-year-old mother, Megan "Maggie" Boswell, was arrested Feb. 25 and charged with giving false information to investigators. "Every time we talk to her, her story changes," Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said at the time.
She first told deputies that Evelyn was with her biological father, active duty Army soldier Ethan Perry, according to court documents. That proved untrue, Cassidy said. She later told local reporters the baby was with her mother, Angela Boswell.
Megan Boswell remains in jail in lieu of $150,000 bail. No new criminal charges had been filed in the case as of Thursday. She has not entered a plea.
The mother said Evelyn was last seen wearing a pink track suit and pink shoes, which matched the clothing found on her remains, investigators said.
Angela Boswell and her boyfriend were earlier arrested in connection with the case and accused of theft. They were freed on bail and are scheduled to appear in court March 24. They have not entered pleas.
They were taken into custody on Feb. 21 in North Carolina on fugitive warrants, according to the Wilkes County Sheriff's Office. The couple was in possession of a car that had been reported stolen and were returned to Tennessee. The vehicle was given to them by Megan Boswell, the boyfriend said in court.
All legal documents in the case were recently placed under seal because of publicity surrounding the child's disappearance.
In his statement, Tommy Boswell Sr. thanked the community for its concern.
"The show of love and support does not go unnoticed. The family appreciates the prayers, memorials, and love that has been shown for Evelyn. In such a dark time, it shows there are loving people out there," he said.
Funeral arrangements for Evelyn will be private, he said, and encouraged the baby's father and family to attend.
"The Boswell Family would like to reach out to Ethan Perry and family to come together for all arrangements for sweet Evelyn ... The family would like to keep the ceremony private for family and close friends, due to that. Please try to show respect to those that are grieving and experiencing a heartbreaking loss."
Tommy Boswell Sr. told a local TV station last month that he reported his granddaughter missing after not seeing her since Thanksgiving. Investigators have said the most credible information they uncovered was that Evelyn hadn't been seen since early December.