IDAHO FALLS — It’s been nearly two months since 19-year-old Dylan Rounds disappeared from a remote farm near the Utah/Nevada border but his mother says progress is being made in the investigation.
Rounds had been 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 Rounds anywhere and no activity on his cell phone or bank account, according to his parents.
RELATED | The boots of a missing young man have been found, and his mother is speaking about his disappearance
Multiple searches have been conducted in the remote town and in nearby Montello, Nevada. The Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office is the lead law enforcement agency with the FBI assisting, but thus far there have been no big breaks in the case.
“Everybody thinks it’s become this big stall, but there’s a reason for that,” says Candice Cooley, Rounds’ mother. “We’re not out there searching, and we’re not having search parties, but there is stuff happening behind the scenes that can’t be released to the public right now.”
Two men believed to have interacted with Rounds in the days before he vanished have recently been arrested for felony gun crimes in Utah but have not been charged in connection to his disappearance.
Chase Venstra, 41, and James Brenner, 59, are in custody and Cooley believes they know what happened to her son. She says Brenner sometimes helped Rounds on his farm and was squatting on nearby property. As for Venstra, she had never heard of him until her son went missing.
“Brenner has been listed as an official suspect, and on the affidavit that was served to get the warrant on Chase, they listed it as a homicide investigation,” Cooley explains.
Learning police are considering Rounds’ disappearance as a homicide was somewhat of a relief to Cooley, she says, because now investigators have a specific focus.
“We pretty much all knew it from the first day we went out there. We know our son, and we know nothing would take him away from his farm. Absolutely nothing,” she says. “It was just one of those gut feelings where you don’t want it to be true. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. But when you have a kid like Dylan with his patterns, his drive, and his passion, we just we knew he wouldn’t leave. There’s no way.”
Despite the situation, Cooley is trying to remain positive. His 20th birthday is coming up on Aug. 1 and his family is asking anyone interested to “sow a seed for Dylan.” Packets of Black Eyed Susan seeds are being distributed through the Find Dylan Rounds Facebook page and will be available at different locations in Utah and Idaho. People around the world are asked to take photos of them planting seeds and submit them to the Facebook group.
Cooley remains patient as law enforcement works on her son’s case and is hopeful it will be solved soon.
“There’s a lot of stuff being processed, so hopefully, that’ll give us a few more answers. And we hope one of these two guys (Venstra and Brenner) talks,” she says.
The post Mom gives update on disappearance of Dylan Rounds as his 20th birthday approaches appeared first on East Idaho News.