KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The body of a young girl found on property belonging to Evelyn Boswell's family is that of the missing toddler, authorities confirmed Wednesday.
Evelyn's body, dressed in the "exact clothing" she was described as wearing when reported missing, was discovered last week on the Boswell family's property in the East Tennessee town of Blountville, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
"We have a sad update to pass along in our ongoing search for answers in the death of 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell," the TBI said in a statement Wednesday. "Remains found on Friday evening have been confirmed to be those of the little girl."
As of Wednesday evening, no one had been charged in Evelyn's death.
The discovery of Evelyn's body brought a grim end to a convoluted, 17-day-long search that began when the child's family reported her missing months after she was last seen. The investigation grew to span three states, spur an Amber Alert and draw in the FBI as Evelyn's relatives told conflicting, changing stories to police.
Judge seals Evelyn Boswell autopsy report
Authorities have not specified when or how Evelyn died.
An autopsy was performed at William L. Jenkins Forensic Center in Johnson City.
Sullivan County Criminal Court Judge Jim Goodwin agreed this week to seal the autopsy report, which is normally a public record in Tennessee. The move will keep secret the cause and nature of Evelyn's death until authorities decide to release the information.
"I thought it was necessary because of the publicity the case has engendered and because it's still under investigation," Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus, who pushed for the development, told Knox News on Wednesday. "I thought it would maintain the integrity of the investigation."
A court order sealing the autopsy records was filed in the case against Evelyn's mother, 18-year-old Megan "Maggie" Boswell, and sent to the forensic center.
Some family members hadn't seen Evelyn for months
The investigation began when Evelyn's grandfather, Tommy Boswell Sr., reported on Feb. 18 that certain family members hadn't seen the toddler in about two months. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber Alert for the child the next day.
Megan Boswell, who was Evelyn's sole legal guardian, initially claimed the child was with the father, Ethan Perry, and that she was going to pick up her daughter in the parking lot of a local grocery store. Investigators later determined Perry is stationed in Louisiana on active duty in the Army, and that he did not have Evelyn.
The mother went on to spin tales in televised interviews, making statements that investigators called false or said were unsupported by evidence.
Megan Boswell was booked into the Sullivan County jail on a charge of making false reports. She remained there Wednesday on a $150,000 bond. Prosecutors successfully argued for an increase in bond after the remains were found last Friday.
Currently out of jail and wearing ankle monitors are Evelyn's maternal grandmother, Angela Boswell, and Angela's boyfriend, William McCloud. The couple were arrested in North Carolina two days after the TBI issued an Amber Alert for Evelyn, accused of fleeing the state in a stolen car shortly after the child was reported missing.
Both the grandmother and her boyfriend were arrested on a charge of theft of property over $2,500 in connection to the stolen car, a 2007 BMW. The car was going to be sold to the Boswell family, according to an arrest affidavit, but no agreement was reached and no money was exchanged.
The couple were extradited to Tennessee, where they each made bond.
After a search that drew more than 750 tips, Evelyn's remains were found last Friday in an out-building on a property on Muddy Creek Road in Blountville where Megan Boswell's father, brother and grandmother live, according to court documents.
People who visited the area to pay their respects to Evelyn placed stuffed animals, flowers, balloons and hand-written notes beneath a tree.
"You're home now," one note read. "Fly high."
Follow Travis Dorman on Twitter: @travdorman