Evelyn Boswell: Questions remain in disappearance, death of Tennessee toddler

Unsolved Tennessee

A single tweet on the night of February 19 sparked a statewide search for Evelyn Boswell, a baby missing from Sullivan County.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had posted to social media after issuing an AMBER Alert for the 15-month-old girl. Along with pictures of Evelyn, the agency reported she had actually been missing for months.

“December 26 is listed as the date she was last seen,” Josh DeVine, a TBI spokesperson, explained the night of the alert. “However, the child’s mother, along with others connected to this case, have been giving some conflicting information.”

A day or two prior to the AMBER Alert, Evelyn’s grandfather, Tommy Boswell, Sr. said he contacted the Department of Children’s Services to report he had not seen his granddaughter since Thanksgiving.

Evelyn Boswell (Courtesy: Megan Boswell)

“I said, if Evelyn doesn’t come home I’m going to do something about it,” Boswell, Sr. told reporters at the time. “My granddaughter never did come back and I was wondering what happened to her.”

During the ongoing investigation, Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy determined the last credible sighting of Evelyn was actually December 11, when a babysitter reported seeing the young girl.

From the beginning, detectives believed Evelyn’s 18-year-old mother, Megan Boswell appeared to be hindering the investigation. While Megan initially avoided media questions, she gave her first on-camera interview on February 21, two days after the AMBER Alert was initiated.

During the interview, Megan claimed she knew who had her daughter, but refused to reveal the name publicly.

“They won’t answer phone calls they just kinda disappeared,” she explained. “I didn’t want them to run away with her. As soon as they thought anything was going on they just kinda vanished.”

Megan Boswell (Courtesy: WJHL)

The same day as Megan’s first on-camera interview, her mother, Angela Boswell was arrested, along with Angela’s boyfriend, William McCloud in Wilkes County, North Carolina. The two were in a stolen car, investigators said.

Following the arrests, Megan Boswell spoke publicly again and said it was her mother, Angela who last had Evelyn; however, the child was not with Angela when she was taken into custody.

“I told TBI where to find her in Mendota. [Virginia]. My mom took her to a campground in a silver camper,” Megan said at the time. “I’ve been so long without her and I know people are like, ‘why didn’t you report her missing earlier’ and it’s because my mom threatened me and I just want her back. That’s all I can think about, is I want her back.”

Angela Boswell, William McCloud. (Photos: Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office)

Days later, Megan Boswell told reporters via Facebook Messenger that she was pregnant again and could not take a polygraph test ordered for her amid the investigation into her daughter’s disappearance.

Sheriff Cassidy quickly responded and said his office never asked Megan to take a polygraph test.

“Every time we talk to her, her story changes. I’m serious when I say that, every single time,” the sheriff explained. “Many of the false statements Megan made delayed our investigations, and also impeded our investigations on trying to find Evelyn.”

Sheriff Cassidy said Megan’s lies led his office to arrest her February 25, nearly one week after the AMBER Alert was initiated. She was jailed in Sullivan County on a charge of false reporting, where jail records indicated she was not pregnant.

Court documents obtained by News 2 allege the Department of Children’s Services had questioned Megan about Evelyn’s whereabouts and she lied, saying Evelyn was with the child’s father, Ethan Perry. Detectives determined Perry, who was actively enlisted in the U.S. Army and stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, did not have Evelyn.

Pond searched in Wilkes County, North Carolina (Photo: WSOC-TV)

The week after the AMBER Alert had been issued, a pond was searched in Wilkes County, North Carolina, where Evelyn’s grandmother, Angela Boswell and Angela’s boyfriend, William McCloud had been arrested days earlier. The property where the pond was located belonged to McCloud’s grandmother.

While nothing was found during the search of the pond, investigators conducted another search two days later at a mobile home park near Boone Lake. Property records showed the owner was Megan Boswell’s brother, Tommy Boswell, Jr.

Neighbors said they witnessed law enforcement digging around back and underneath a mobile home, where they removed something, placed it in a bag and left. Those same neighbors advised Megan Boswell and her daughter, Evelyn had lived in the home at one point.

Weeks later, on the night of March 6, deputies with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office went to a property along Muddy Creek Road, where Evelyn’s grandfather, Tommy Boswell, Sr., was living.

Property searched on Muddy Creek Rd. (Courtesy: WJHL)

“During the search, investigators discovered human remains believed to be those of a 15-month-old girl,” Sheriff Cassidy said at a news conference immediately after the search.

The TBI reported March 11 that the remains had been positively identified as Evelyn Boswell, but the cause and manner of death had not been determined.

There were no new public developments in the case until May 6, when the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office announced a “person of interest” was being investigated. Detectives were careful not to name the person.

“We have points of interest,” Captain Joey Strickler explained. “We have a person of interest.”

Evelyn Boswell (Courtesy: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

While there have been multiple court hearings for Megan and Angela Boswell in recent months, there have been no new public developments.

Despite the pandemic, Sheriff Cassidy and Captain Strickler have said the case remains a priority for the department.

As of July 31, there have been no arrests in the disappearance or death of Evelyn Boswell. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at (800) TBI-FIND or the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office at (423) 279-7500.

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