BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — The body of a child wearing the “exact” clothing that missing toddler Evelyn Boswell’s mother said she was last seen wearing was discovered Friday in an outbuilding on property owned by the mother’s family, a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent testified during a hearing Monday.
The body, believed to be that of 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell of Blountville, appeared to be about 1 year to 18 months old, TBI Special Agent Brian Fraley testified. Investigators also found diapers, toys and other clothing in the outbuilding, he said.
During the hearing in Blountville, Judge James Goodwin raised the bail of Megan Boswell, the toddler’s mother, from $25,000 to $150,000.
The hearing came three days after authorities announced the discovery of the remains, which have not been positively identified. The body and other items were found on property on Muddy Creek Road near Blountville, where Megan Boswell’s father, brother and grandmother live, Fraley said.
Boswell, 18, was charged last month with filing a false report to authorities, but she has not been charged in connection with her daughter’s disappearance. She has been in the Sullivan County jail since her arrest Feb. 25.
Asked whether Boswell provided false statements during the course of the investigation, Fraley said, “Yes, sir, several.”
Authorities said earlier that she initially told authorities her daughter was with her father, Ethan Perry, who is stationed with the Army in Louisiana, but that was not the case.
In the motion to increase bail, which was filed Monday in Sullivan County Criminal Court in Blountville, District Attorney General Barry Staubus cited several factors, including that Boswell is unemployed, does not have a residence and has out-of-state contacts that could make her a flight risk. Fraley said she has contacts in Texas, which she visited last fall.
C. Brad Sproles, a Kingsport-based attorney appointed to represent Boswell, wrote in a response to the motion that Boswell is not a flight risk because, among other things, she is a lifelong Sullivan County resident who has no prior criminal record.
“The State seeks to have the Court increase her bond based upon the anticipation of possible future charges,” Sproles wrote. “The State’s position is contrary to the purpose of a bond not being used to punish a Defendant, but to insure their continued appearance in court.”
No additional charges had been filed against Boswell on Monday, but during the proceedings, Judge Goodwin asked Fraley a question about “inculpatory” statements, or evidence that could point toward a person’s involvement in an act.
“Agent Fraley, during your investigation, did Ms. Boswell make any inculpatory statements with regard to the death of Evelyn Boswell?” Goodwin asked.
Fraley said she had, but he did not provide any other details.
Following the hearing, Staubus said the false report case will go to a grand jury between now and Boswell’s next court date of May 8. He previously said she faces two to four years in jail if convicted of the felony charge.
Sproles, Boswell’s attorney, told reporters after the hearing he has “some work to do before I can comment any further.”
The body discovered last Friday is currently at East Tennessee State University for an autopsy, according to court filings. ETSU spokesman Joe Smith said Monday that the case is under seal, and he could not provide any additional information about the autopsy and any findings.