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The boots of a missing young man have been found, and his mother is speaking about his disappearance

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — The boots of a young man missing for nearly two weeks have been found behind a dirt pile on his property, but there’s still no sign of 19-year-old Dylan Rounds.

Rounds attended Rigby High School and began farming grain a few years ago in the desert town of Lucin, Utah, near the Utah/Nevada border. He lives by himself in a camp trailer on a remote piece of land, and family members last heard from him when he called his grandmother the morning of Saturday, May 28.

RELATED | Family offering $20,000 reward for man who disappeared after ‘weird run-in’ with stranger

“He said he couldn’t talk. He had to get his grain truck in the shed because he had seed in it,” Candice Cooley, Rounds’ mother, tells EastIdahoNews.com. “He was planting, and he couldn’t get his seed wet.”

Rounds’ boots, truck, wallet and phone

Nobody heard from Rounds over the weekend, and by Monday, May 30, his family became concerned and went to the farm. They called police and Box Elder County Search and Rescue when Rounds was not there. Crews arrived and began scouring the property.

“Within the first hour and a half, they found his boots. From where his grain truck was parked, his boots were about 100 yards south behind a pile of dirt just casually tossed out,” Cooley says. “He was very particular about his boots. He wears a pair, and it’s always the same pair. When they wear out, he goes and buys exactly the same boots.”

The boots did not look faded and had dirt on them. Cooley says detectives told her there was a spot of blood on the footwear and they would be sent to a lab for testing, but late last week, she says the family was informed that police were hanging on to the boots in case cadaver dogs needed them for a scent.

dylan pics
Dylan Rounds | Courtesy Candice Cooley

Another suspicious discovery was there were no tire tracks in the dirt leading to or from Rounds’ red pickup truck, Cooley says. The weekend he disappeared, it was raining in Lucin, so had he left and come back, there would have been markings in the ground. But Cooley also says it appears the truck was pressured washed as it was noticeably clean.

“There is no mud on the tires, there’s no mud on the rims but the wheel wells are full of mud like they’ve been driven in the rain,” Cooley says. “It’s been cleaned except the wheel wells … And when I got in the pickup…the seat was scooted up to the point I didn’t even have to move it to drive. I’m 4’11”, Dylan is 5’11” and every time I’ve ever gotten in Dylan’s pickup, I can’t reach the pedals.”

Cooley also noticed the truck was in four-wheel drive but she and everyone else in the family knew the four-wheel drive had not been working since Rounds got a new transmission transfer case several months ago. He often complained about not being able to use the feature and having to drive his truck without it.

Rounds’ wallet and phone are missing, but everything else appears normal at the farm. Cooley says police got a ping on the phone that was at or within 15 miles of his property on Saturday at 3:41 p.m.

Nevada and what’s next

Rounds often visited Montello, Nevada, which is 26 miles from Lucin, and it’s the last place someone physically saw him.

“He’d go into the bar in Montello and meet up with friends, but they never came out (to Lucin) with him. There’s no reason to come out there because there’s nothing there,” Cooley says. “We don’t even know if he made it back to Utah (that Saturday).”

lucin montello map
Google maps

Cooley says search crews, family and friends have done a thorough search of Rounds’ property and around Lucin to the Nevada border. Utah officials have been helpful, and now she hopes the focus can shift to Nevada.

“We are begging for Nevada officials to help us. I think he was taken, and he did not leave his place willingly. We need Nevada to help us out,” Cooley says.

Days before Rounds vanished, he had an encounter with a suspicious barefooted man who asked him for a ride. Cooley originally thought this man might have something to do with Rounds’ disappearance, but she has since spoken with the man and he is now in police custody on unrelated matters.

Cooley does not think the man knows anything about her son’s whereabouts, but she is leaving it to the police to question him.

Rounds’ family is planning for a large search on Saturday and hope they can find more clues about where he could be. Cooley says her son was not mentally distressed, has no enemies, was not dating anyone and his biggest care was the farm.

“Dylan’s biggest stress was getting his crop to grow,” Cooley says. “This kid – he is not a typical kid. He doesn’t know how to play video games. He was born in the wrong generation. That farm was his life, and he would never leave it.”

Rounds’ family is offering a $20,000 to anyone who finds him or knows where he might be. If you have any information on his whereabouts, call the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office at (435) 734-3800. The family is posting updates on the Find Dylan Rounds Facebook page.

UPDATE: The Elko County Sheriff’s Office issued the following news release Thursday afternoon:

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Watch our entire interview with Candice Cooley in the video player below:

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