BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Tennessee Bureau of Investigation special agent David Gratz took the stand Thursday morning at a court hearing for Megan Boswell’s upcoming murder trial.
Boswell, who is accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter Evelyn Mae Boswell and sending several agencies on a multistate search, appeared at the hearing that finalized a questionnaire for potential jurors and again considered splitting her trial into two.
New details surrounding the case emerged Thursday when the TBI special agent revealed that Boswell told police a week and three days before Evelyn’s remains were found that she was aware the child was dead.
During the April 7 court appearance, Gratz provided a timeline leading up to the March 6, 2020 discovery of Evelyn’s remains on family property, including accusations that Boswell led investigators on by lying to law enforcement regarding Evelyn’s whereabouts.
Gratz revealed the 12 counts of false reports Boswell faces stemmed from a multitude of stories she provided to investigators as they spent nearly a month searching for Evelyn; however, the alleged lies began far before the child had been reported missing, according to Gratz.
“Based on everything we’ve collected, the first time we found [Boswell] had told the story that Evelyn was with [Evelyn’s biological father] was during the first week of December of 2019,” he said, revealing the TBI used text messages and witness statements as evidence.
Feb. 18, 2020
The first false reports date back to Feb. 18, 2020 — the day a family member initially reported the toddler missing after not seeing her for nearly two months. The state accused Boswell of lying to multiple investigators with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.
These statements, according to the TBI, include claims made by Boswell that Evelyn was with her biological father. Boswell also reportedly told investigators that Evelyn’s biological father was not returning text messages or voicemails and that she did not know the toddler’s whereabouts.
Feb. 19, 2020
The next day, on Feb. 19, 2020, Boswell is accused of lying to FBI agents regarding “the time frame in which she stated she gave Evelyn to [her biological father],” according to Gratz.
Feb. 20, 2020
More alleged false statements followed on Feb. 20, 2020, when Boswell told Sullivan County authorities the last contact she had with Evelyn was with her and [her biological father] on Dec. 26, 2019, and she “had not contacted law enforcement on the advice of her mother,” according to Gratz.
Two days after telling law enforcement Evelyn was with her biological father, Boswell allegedly told authorities the child was with her mother, Evelyn’s maternal grandmother, according to Gratz.
“This was when the defendant stated her mother, Angela Boswell, had Evelyn Boswell,” Gratz said, agreeing that Boswell implicated someone else in the disappearance of her daughter.
Boswell is accused of making another false claim that day — a statement to investigators that Evelyn had been with Angela Boswell since mid-December. Boswell reportedly told authorities that Angela refused to reveal Evelyn’s whereabouts and that Boswell did not call the police “because she was afraid that Angela would harm Evelyn,” according to Gratz.
“The defendant said her mother, Angela, had taken Evelyn and wouldn’t return Evelyn to the defendant because she owed her money and would not return Evelyn until the money was paid,” Gratz said.
Feb. 21, 2020
The next day, Boswell stuck with previous statements that alleged Evelyn was with her maternal grandmother at an unknown location.
Feb. 23, 2020
“The defendant said that, again, Angela had Evelyn Boswell and had given Evelyn to an unknown or unnamed person and that Evelyn was safe and would have a better life with this unknown person,” Gratz said of another alleged false statement from Boswell on Feb. 23, 2020.
Feb. 25, 2020
On Feb. 25, the narrative changed, according to Gratz.
Evelyn was dead, Boswell allegedly told authorities.
“This was when [Boswell] did say she was aware that Evelyn was dead; however, she told the story that it was resulted from either her or [her boyfriend] rolling over the child while sleeping, but she did not know the location of Evelyn’s body,” Gratz said.
Assistant District Attorney William Harper noted the different stories allegedly told by Boswell throughout the course of the investigation.
“She implicates others in the disappearance,” Harper said. “She gave you all false information about who had the child, where the child was. Is that right?”
“Yes,” Gratz answered.
Watch Gratz’s complete testimony below.
The state said that these reports made it appear as though Evelyn was in someone else’s custody.
A family member reported the toddler missing on Feb. 18, 2020 — nearly two months after she was last seen. Multiple agencies, including the TBI and FBI, scoured the area and beyond with the hopes of finding Evelyn.
Less than a month after she was reported missing — and a week and three days after Boswell allegedly told authorities she knew the child was dead — the search came to an end on a family member’s property. Gratz revealed Evelyn’s remains were found in a playhouse that had been built for Megan as a child.
“We found the remains inside of a building that was referred to by the family as the playhouse,” Gratz said at Thursday’s court hearing. “It was out behind what I would call a storage building on the property, and this playhouse was built by the defendant Megan’s grandfather as a playhouse for her when she was a child.”
The TBI continues to wait on test results from evidence collected at the scene. Gratz revealed that the TBI collected nearly a terabyte of digital evidence surrounding the case, including texts and direct messages.
Boswell’s attorney, Brad Sproles, did not have any questions for Gratz. The entire April 7 court hearing is available to watch at the top of this story.