Utah 'farmer' Dylan Rounds, 19, still missing after two months, mom convinced of foul play
BOX ELDER COUNTY, UTAH: Dylan Rounds, a 19-year-old farmer from Idaho who left his home to work on a plot of land in Utah, has been missing for two months. "Dylan had a farm, Dylan had a goal, and he had a drive in life so that he would absolutely not let anything, anything, take him away," his mother said. "This is a kid that the last three years has been out in the desolate desert tearing out new ground."
According to family members, the teen has gone missing from the Utah farm, and police discovered his boots and truck left behind. His mother is convinced foul play is involved in his disappearance.
"I'm doing everything I can, but not knowing is pure torture," his mother, Candice Cooley, recently told Fox News Digital.
James Adrian Brenner, 58, a squatter on a neighbor's property, is being held on federal firearms charges and has been named a suspect in Rounds' disappearance. There have been no charges filed in connection with the missing person case.
"When Dylan Rounds was not found early in the search effort, the investigation focused on the possibility of Dylan being the victim of a crime," Box Elder County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Cade Palmer said in a statement.
According to a neighbor identified in court documents as DH, Brenner asked him to conceal three black powder guns and a .22-caliber rifle with no serial number at some point after Rounds' disappearance. DH surrendered the weapons after being contacted by the FBI. They charged Brenner with being a felon in possession of a firearm, citing previous felony convictions.
Chase Venstra, another local, is also facing federal firearms charges in connection with the case. Prior to Rounds' disappearance, authorities served a search warrant at his home and discovered two guns. Then, after the teen went missing, police said they discovered he had more weapons hidden with an associate by listening to jailhouse phone calls.
Rounds will turn 20 on August 1, and his family is asking supporters to plant seeds in his honor. "I've been mailing out seed packets all week to people all over the country, and we have local locations where people can pick them up," Cooley said. "We've had an incredible number of people join us from all over the world."
She stated that the family is awaiting the results of crime lab testing on some of the evidence as they prepare to plant seeds. "We're waiting for a response," she said. "We're hoping that will provide us with some answers."
Rounds' last communication with his family was on May 28, when he told his grandmother that he needed to hurry and park his grain truck in its shed because it was raining. Deputies discovered the truck in a shed about 5 miles away from his camper. They also discovered his boots 100 yards away, in the opposite direction he would have taken home.
Rounds is a 5-foot-10 White male who weighs around 160 pounds. He has brown eyes and brown hair.
Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact the sheriff's office at 435-734-3800. Facebook can also be used to submit tips.
Search efforts are expected to continue, with assistance from outside groups such as EquuSearch and a number of law enforcement agencies.