Remains Identified as Boy Who Left Campground
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) said Monday (Oct. 4) that human remains found last month in a wash less than two miles from the Beaver Creek Campground are those of Sylar Newton, 2, of Flagstaff, Ariz.,who was reported missing on July 25, the Prescott Daily Courier reported.
Last week, detectives received DNA results from the human remains found on Aug. 10 and notified the families, said Dwight D’Evelyn, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
Sylar went to the Beaver Creek Campground with his custodial mother, Christina Priem, her two children, a family friend and Priem’s mother, Nancy Collins, on July 23.
Priem said she last saw Sylar at 12:30 a.m. on July 25 in a tent with the family, and discovered him missing at 1:45 a.m.
A family member called the Sedona Fire Department about 15 minutes later, but the call did not make it to the sheriff’s communications center. The campground host called the Sheriff’s Office at 2:30 a.m. and deputies arrived about 30 minutes later.
A massive search began to find Sylar, who was last seen wearing only a diaper.
“It appears it was a variety of factors that led to us finding skeletal remains in a relatively short period,” D’Evelyn said.
Some of those factors were environmental, including flash flooding and exposure to the elements, D’Evelyn said.
Jeff Newnum, YCSO search and rescue coordinator, had said mountain lions, bears, and coyotes roam the area, but they found no trace of blood from an animal dragging Sylar away.
YCSO deputies questioned local sex offenders and searched landfills and trash dumpsites as well.
Detectives still wait for toxicology test results, which will be a factor in the direction of the current investigation, D’Evelyn said.
“The best guess we have is 10 days, but it could be longer,” D’Evelyn said. “These are very extensive tests typically done on blood and skin. We sent in samples of skeletal remains and hair, so it takes a little bit longer.”
Witnesses at the campground told detectives Sylar appeared as if he was under the influence of a narcotic or medication, D’Evelyn said.
“It’s important for us to receive the toxicology results to corroborate witness statements,” D’Evelyn said. “If we do show levels of narcotics or medication, it helps lead us in a certain direction in the case.”
Campers staying near where Sylar disappeared told deputies they saw Priem or Collins verbally abuse and push Sylar to the ground the evening before he went missing, according to a search warrant.
Campers also told deputies they heard Sylar crying between 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., but nothing after that.
No one has been named as a suspect, and no arrests have been made in the case, D’Evelyn said.
The medical examiner’s office is awaiting toxicology results and a chance to examine remains before releasing its report into the cause and manner of Sylar’s death.
YCSO also wants to remind the public that Yavapai Silent Witness and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are offering an $8,000 cash reward to the person providing information that leads to the arrest of a suspect in Sylar’s disappearance.
Anyone with information is urged to call the YCSO Criminal Investigations Bureau at (928) 771-3278 or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1 (800) 932-3232.