In June of 2022, a program on Dateline called “Missing in America” aired a very concerning episode. The episode focused on 19-year-old Dylan Rounds. During the episode, interviews were conducted with Dylan’s parents, Justin Rounds and Candice Cooley. They gave some background into Dylan’s childhood, which included the fact that Dylan owned his own farm in Lucin, Utah despite him growing up in Idaho. He bought the farm from his grandfather back in 2019. For that reason, Dylan spent most of his time living in a camper on his farm.
That would be where he wound up going missing.
On May 28, 2022, Dylan was speaking to his grandmother on the phone, according to investigators. That was the last time that anyone heard from Dylan Rounds. He was reported missing by his mother just 2 days later on May 30. It wouldn’t take long (relatively) for the police to nail down a suspect in the case. The Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office announced on July 7, 2022, that James Brenner was a suspect in Dylan Rounds’ disappearance. Brenner was 58 years old at the time.
Court documents revealed that Brenner was living in a trailer just a few miles from Dylan’s farm at the time. It turns out that Brenner and Dylan even knew each other to an extent. Candice Cooley told investigators that Brenner lived on Dylan’s farm at one point and would even help him with different upkeep activities around the property.
Brenner, it turns out, had a concerning past. He was convicted in May 2012 of being a felon in possession of a firearm. For that, he was sentenced to 33 months in prison. This is extra concerning in Dylan’s case because of a story that a neighbor of Brenner’s told investigators. According to the witness, Brenner went to him one month after Dylan disappeared and asked him to hide a bunch of firearms for him. Brenner told his neighbor that “the last time he had trouble with the law they took everything from him, and he did not want the things he had left to be taken again.”
Now, on March 3, 2023, the Box Elder Country Sheriff’s Office announced that Brenner was charged with “criminal homicide, aggravated murder” and “abuse or desecration of a human body” in the case of Dylan Rounds’ disappearance. The announcement outlined different DNA evidence and other pieces of probable cause that led them to Brenner.
Brenner is currently being held at the Weber County Jail in Ogden on those unrelated firearms charges.