Dylan Rounds is a missing Utah farmer whose family has offered a large reward after he vanished into thin air in May 2022. A suspect, Rounds’ neighbor, was named by authorities in July, according to The Jefferson Star. James Brenner, 58, is in federal custody on firearms charges, the newspaper reports.
According to ABC4, Rounds’ family is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts. Rounds, 19, “operated a farm near the town of Lucin in western Box Elder County,” in Utah, according to the television station.
According to The Jefferson Star, Brenner was named as a suspect in Rounds’ disappearance in court documents filed in connection to the federal charges.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rounds, Who Vanished on May 28 After a Phone Call, Was Described as a ‘True American Farmer’
Rounds’ mother, Candice Cooley, shared photos of him on her Facebook page. She wrote:
…you see since Dylan was little he has been a farmer, it was his passion. From the time he could walk he would try to keep up with his dad and grandpa. Dylan could drive a tractor by himself before most kids could ride a bike. From as early as 10 years old he was growing pumpkin patches and sweet corn to sale. The Rigby community knew every summer there would be Dylan’s sweet corn for sale under the County Line over pass. Please if you have pictures of Dylan working with you share share share. Dylan is a true American Farmer born in a generation that does not understand, lets help show him to the world.
According to the Elko County Sheriff’s Office, the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction in the case.
“Dylan was, in fact, seen in Montello before his disappearance on the 26th of May, not the 27th as reported on social media,” the Elko County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a news release. Montello is located in Nevada.
“He ate at a local establishment there and then returned to Utah. Cell phone data was used to track Dylan’s phone around his farm near Lucin, UT.”
Rounds then made a phone call to a family member on the 28th at 6:51 a.m. Mountain Time, according to the release. “We can confirm that phone call was made from the farm based off the cell data. The last cell phone data communication from Dylan’s phone was on the 28th of May near his farm in Box Elder County, in the state of Utah.”
According to the release, “Dylan disappeared sometime after he made that phone call. Based upon the information above, jurisdiction for this case is retained by Utah law enforcement.”
The department was first notified of the case on May 31, 2022, when they responded to Montello on a call that someone was being held hostage in Montello. They searched a residence with the consent of the owner. The release does not provide additional details about the hostage angle.
According to ABC4, Rounds called his grandmother on May 28.
2. More Than 3,000 Miles Have Been Searched to Find Rounds, Who Was Described as ‘Strong-headed’ & Passionate
Cooley, Rounds’ mother, described him in a Facebook post as “one of the best 19 year olds, hardworking, passionate and strong headed.”
The Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that the office is “making continual efforts to locate Dylan Rounds and to investigate the circumstances surrounding his disappearance. This is an active law enforcement/missing person/criminal investigation.”
Volunteer teams have logged over 300 hours “searching, covering over 3,000 miles…” Detective have worked on the case for more than 650 hours, the Sheriff’s Office said in the release.
A private investigator named Jason Jensen told ABC4: “Something of a foul play has happened to Dylan…He was excited to be farming there. His crop was about to come to fruition for the first time. So he was excited.”
A post on the Facebook group devoted to finding Rounds says, “My heart feels heavy after helping in the physical search for Dylan Rounds the past few days. Hundreds of places have been searched. Our rzr saw over 130 miles in 2 days. We hiked to a cave, looked in mine shafts, studied ravines, abandoned buildings and trailers. We saw rain, wind, and a lot of dust. Many many people came together to search.”
3. Rounds’ Boots Were Located
A few clues have emerged.
ABC4 reported that his family found his truck on Memorial Day and it had not been moved, but, oddly, it had been power washed.
“His boots were found a short distance from the farm property and they’re now being analyzed,” the station reported.
According to Local News 8, the boots were located “behind a dirt pile, 100 yards from where his grain truck was parked.”
According to ABC4, Rounds’ mother is frustrated.
“Stuff like this doesn’t happen without people knowing,” Cooley said to the television station. “They’re just not talking. Somebody tell us something. We have no direction right now.”
4. There Was a Strange Incident With a Bloody Man Before Rounds Disappeared
According to ABC4, there was a strange incident before Rounds disappeared. A bloodied man asked him for a ride “days before his disappearance”
But his mother told the television station that she doesn’t think the man has anything to do with it. According to ABC4, he’s a “fugitive from Montana” who is being held in jail on “unrelated charges.”
LocalNews8 provided additional details about this encounter and man. The station quoted Rounds’ mother as saying he told her “about a bloody man who was walking on foot and came up out of the desert.” He wanted a ride, but Rounds’ family initially believed that Rounds didn’t give him one, the station reported.
However, the family figured out the man’s identity in Lucin, a town near the farm. The television station gave his name as Chase and said he contacted the family to say Rounds did actually give him a ride. The conversation “lessened” the family’s suspicions, the television station reported.
5. Rounds Mother Insists, ‘Our Son Did Not Walk Into the Desert & Disappear’
According to Local News 8, Dylan Rounds “always had dreams of owning a farm. He purchased land in Box Elder County, Utah and set out to do so.”
He was living on the farm when he vanished.
“It is with an extremely heavy heart we are posting this update,” Cooley wrote on her Facebook page.
We have still yet to locate Dylan or any sign of him. We have had an amazing amount of support in our search efforts both on ground and in air, yet to know success. Our son did not walk into the desert and disappear, his farm and everything he’s worked for is out there and someone knows something. I am pleading for someone to come forward with information regarding what has happened to Dylan.
She wrote on Facebook, “We also would like you to pay attention to his patterns I have been explaing throughout these pictures. Boots, hats (always equipment, farming or trucking ones) sweatshirts… Always working very few of him every doing something people consider fun, work was his idea of fun. Every summer he would insist he planted my flowers because of coarse I did not do it right.”