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Search for Evelyn Boswell continues after search of NC pond 'inconclusive'

A statewide AMBER Alert was issued for Evelyn Boswell on Wednesday, February 19. She hasn't been seen since December.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn — The Wilkes County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina said a search of a property and pond turned up 'inconclusive' related to the search for 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell. 

"The search was inconclusive to any facts to the investigation and all information has been reported back to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations as they continue their efforts in this investigation," the WCSO said. 

Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said despite all of the twists and turns this investigation has taken, they are still operating on the assumption that Evelyn is alive.

"We hope and pray she is alive," he said.

Authorities initiated a search in North Carolina for the missing Tennessee toddler as her mother sits behind bars for making repeated false statements about the missing child that the TBI said has interfered with the investigation.

The Catawba Fire Department in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, assisted in the search.

Authorities said they used a remote operated vehicle to search the lake, but could not comment further. Sheriff Cassidy confirmed the search was related to Evelyn's disappearance, but couldn't elaborate on what instigated it.

A statewide AMBER Alert was issued for Evelyn Boswell on Wednesday, February 19. The TBI initially reported she hadn't been seen since Dec. 26, but Sheriff Cassidy said the last sighting investigators could verify was actually Dec. 10 or 11.

"That was verified by someone who has not lied to us," Cassidy said at a press conference Wednesday in Blountville.

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Evelyn's mother, Megan Boswell, was arrested and charged with false reporting Tuesday night.

"Every time we talk to her, her story changes. every single time," said Cassidy, and that's made an already difficult investigation even tougher.

"We were already behind the 8-ball when she was reported missing," he said, because of the time that had elapsed. The first few hours after a child goes missing is usually the most critical time in the investigation.

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Court papers obtained by WCYB show that Boswell initially told investigators that Evelyn was with her father, Ethan Perry, who is in the U.S. military and stationed in Louisiana.

She later told the media that Evelyn was with someone she trusted but she was afraid to say who because she was afraid they'd disappear with her daughter.

Boswell also told the media that she had been asked to take a polygraph test but she couldn't because she was pregnant.

"She was never asked to meet us for a polygraph. We don't even have one," Cassidy said. The TBI does have the capability, but Cassidy said it was not requested that they set that up.

As to whether Boswell is pregnant, Cassidy would not comment because of medical privacy issues.

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Cassidy expressed frustration that Boswell was feeding a lot of inaccurate information to the media and the public via social media.

"We have to work on probable cause, not assumptions or gut feelings. We need relevant, sufficient evidence," he said, before they could take any action like a search warrant or an arrest.

There is currently a $59,850 reward for information leading to Evelyn.

Cassidy, while being frustrated at the social media firestorm created by this case, still praised the public for the outpouring of support.

"Community has been outstanding," he said.

He knows people would like to help more, maybe in an active search for Evelyn, but without specific information about a location, it just simply wasn't realistic at this time. However, if they learn about a specific location, that could change.

Following an arrest for theft last week in Wilkes County, authorities said Evelyn's grandmother, Angela Boswell, and her boyfriend, William Boswell, are both back in Tennessee after being extradited to Sullivan County to face outstanding criminal charges.

The Tennessee Department of Children's Services has opened an investigation into Evelyn's case but won't comment further.

Evelyn is 24 inches tall and weighs 28 pounds. She also has blonde hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing a pink tracksuit, pink shoes and a pink bow.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Evelyn, please call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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