Dylan Rounds' parents want different agency to take over case of their missing son - East Idaho News
Dylan Rounds

Dylan Rounds’ parents want different agency to take over case of their missing son

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IDAHO FALLS — The parents of a man from eastern Idaho who vanished near the Utah-Nevada border want a different law enforcement agency to take over the investigation into their missing son.

Dylan Rounds, who turned 20 on Aug. 1, disappeared nearly three months ago while farming in the desert town of Lucin, Utah. His grandmother spoke with him on May 28 and nobody has heard from him since then. There has been no sign of Dylan anywhere and no activity on his cell phone or bank account, according to his parents.

The Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office in Utah has been the lead agency on the case but Justin Rounds and Candice Cooley, Dylan’s parents, believe mistakes have been made in the investigation and they are frustrated by a lack of communication.

“If Box Elder can’t even communicate with us as parents, can’t even pick up the phone once a week, why are they even working his case because there’s no point,” Cooley says in an interview with EastIdahoNews.com. “This is absolutely ridiculous. We should not have to beg for everything in this case.”

Dylan’s parents say they rarely hear from anyone in the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office and were stunned when information the family was asked to keep quiet was released July 28 on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).

It said after Dylan disappeared, his truck was locked and the key fob was missing “however the key fob was brought back and placed in the residence (Dylan’s camp trailer) by unknown person.”

The information about the key fob has since been removed and Dylan’s parents were told it was accidentally submitted to NamUs by a detective.

namus screen
A post on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System contained information about Dylan Rounds’ truck key fob that his parents were asked to keep confidential. The details have since been removed.

Rounds and Cooley say the day the key fob was found in Dylan’s camp trailer, investigators didn’t seem to care.

“That happened on day number three after Dylan was gone. They didn’t even think to treat anything suspicious. They didn’t start thinking, ‘Something’s not right. Somebody’s bringing this kid’s stuff back now and he’s missing.’ No, nothing. They just continued on their merry way,” Cooley says.

Chase Venstra, 41, and James Brenner, 59, two men believed to have interacted with Dylan in the days before he vanished, were arrested last month for felony gun crimes in Utah. They have not been charged in connection to Dylan’s disappearance but Dylan’s parents believe Brenner knows what happened to their son.

Brenner was squatting on property near Dylan’s and they wish Box Elder investigators would have questioned the neighbor immediately. Court documents indicate he wasn’t interviewed until June 7 – ten days after Dylan last spoke with anyone.

Camper Truck
This photo shows where Dylan Rounds’ camper and pickup truck were parked when he disappeared.

“Brenner had an arrest warrant at the time Dylan disappeared. Box Elder County knew this. He could have been arrested on day one,” Cooley explains. “You have a violent criminal … and you have a missing 19-year-old all within 100 yards of each other. And you don’t even think, ‘Let’s go ahead and execute this warrant because we can take this guy to jail right now.'”

Dylan’s parents say they have never been interviewed by investigators and, in a letter to the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office, cite “multiple errors, omissions, lies, (and) misconduct” as reasons why they want the state of Utah to take over the case with assistance from the FBI.

“I’ve told myself I just gotta have faith that they’re doing what they’re doing,” Rounds explains. “I’ve just kind of been hoping and praying that they were doing what they were supposed to be doing. But we haven’t talked to them at all. I don’t know anything that’s going on.”

Rounds and Cooley have not heard back from the sheriff’s office since they made their request last week but a spokesman tells EastIdahoNews.com the office is working on a response.

“We received their request, but we don’t have a response for media outlets at this time. We are preparing a response to Dylan’s parents first,” Box Elder County Sheriff Chief Deputy Cade Palmer says. “We currently don’t have any updates or new information on the investigation that we can share. The case continues to be actively investigated by the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of other law enforcement agencies.”

Watch our entire interview with Rounds and Cooley here: