It has been two long years since a Tennessee toddler named Evelyn Boswell was reported missing by her grandfather, who told authorities he had not seen the child for months and feared for her safety.
On Feb. 19, 2020, an Amber Alert was issued for the 15-month-old with big blue eyes and blonde hair that was frequently pulled back with a bow. But it was already too late. Days later, her tiny body was found hidden in her grandfather’s shed, accompanied by her toys, clothing and diapers.
Megan Boswell, who was only 17 when she gave birth, has been charged with murdering her daughter. Her trial has yet to begin, postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic and a backlogged court system.
Here is what is known about Evelyn’s horrifying, heart-wrenching descent from a toddler seen smiling and taking her first steps in photos and video into a hell of unknowns about her whereabouts and how she died.
Had Evelyn lived, she would have turned 3 in November.
How Authorities Say a Massive Search for Evelyn Turned Into a Web of Lies
From the beginning, local and state law enforcement officers said they were frustrated by Megan Boswell, who they said spun a cat’s cradle of conflicting stories that left them chasing dead ends and wasting valuable time.
“Every time we talk to her, her story changes. Every single time,” said Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy at a February 2020 press conference announcing that Megan Boswell had been arrested for allegedly lying to authorities, one week after the child was reported missing. Her false statements have “delayed and impeded” law enforcement’s investigation, he said.
During the investigation, authorities said, Megan falsely told detectives that Evelyn was with her biological father, police said. She also said Evelyn was with her grandmother, who had run off with the toddler. In local television interviews, she said she knew who had Evelyn, but was afraid to say who that was. None of those conflicting accounts were true, the sheriff later said.
“The reason I didn’t report it or anything was I knew the person who had her, and I didn’t want them to run away with her,” Boswell told a local station two days after Evelyn was reported missing. “I’m just kinda worried, you know, about where they are at. What they’re doing with her at this point in time.”
It was Evelyn’s grandfather who contacted the state Department of Children’s Services on Feb. 18, 2020, saying he had not laid eyes on the baby since Thanksgiving. Investigators would later learn a babysitter appeared to be the last person who saw Evelyn, and that was in early December.
Tommy Boswell Sr. told a local station, “I don’t know what happened, but I’m the one who called DCS and got this started,” he said. “I ain’t slept nights. I’ve cried like a baby. I just want my grandbaby to come home.”
No one else has been arrested or charged in connection with Evelyn’s death. Megan had sole custody of the child, and she and Megan’s father never married.
The search for Evelyn would cross state lines, encompass several properties and a pond. More than 700 tips poured into a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation hotline — so many that state officials finally asked for people to stop reporting visions, psychic readings and personal theories about Evelyn’s location because they were overwhelming investigators and telephone operators.
On March 6, two weeks and two days after the Amber Alert was issued, investigators found Evelyn’s remains on property owned by Tommy Boswell. Megan, and other members of the Boswell family, had lived on the rural acreage at varying points in time.
Because of the intense attention surrounding Evelyn’s case, a judge ordered all court documents sealed. How Evelyn died and how she came to be hidden in the shed have never been publicly revealed.
Megan Boswell Is Charged With Murdering Her Only Child
On Aug. 19, 2020, Megan was charged with two counts of felony murder. She also was charged with one count each of aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect, tampering with evidence, abuse of a corpse and failure to report a death under suspicious, unusual or unnatural circumstances, as well as 12 counts of making false reports to investigators.
She has pleaded not guilty to all 19 counts and remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail. Her relatives no longer give media interviews. Her lawyer, Brad Sproles, has said little outside court except that his client is doing fine and that he expects to win a change of venue for her trial because of extensive pre-trial publicity.
“I’ve said all along that she’s a bright young lady,” Sproles said in September at a hearing to schedule his client’s trial date. “She is able to converse very intelligently with me about the case and evaluate the issues. I’m surprised at how well she has held up. I probably would not have been in as good of shape as she is.”
Sproles did not respond to a request for comment from Inside Edition Digital.
Because the case is now filed under seal, law enforcement and trial participants are prohibited from discussing evidence that has been submitted to the court.
But there are thousands of photos and documents connected with the case, according to court proceedings. Prosecutors have said they’ve turned over 87,000 images, 57 hours of video footage, 18 hours of audio footage, 28,000 text messages, and more than 24,000 pages of social media to the defense.
The trial judge is expected to rule in April on the defense’s motion for a change of venue.
Megan Boswell’s murder trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 26, nearly three years since Evelyn’s grandfather says he last saw the little girl.
Had she lived, Evelyn Mae Boswell would have turned 4 on Nov. 21.