Authorities ramp up search for Dylan Rounds with criminal investigation

Jun 16, 2022, 10:28 PM | Updated: 11:33 pm

BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah — The desperate search for missing 19-year-old Dylan Rounds in Box Elder County continued Thursday, with the Sheriff’s office announcing a criminal investigation.

Family members reported Rounds missing from his home on Memorial Day. Rounds, 19, is originally from eastern Idaho but has been living in Lucin, Utah, working to farm the land on his family’s property.

His mother, Candice Cooley, said he was last seen in Montello, Nevada, on May 26 and last heard from on Saturday, May 28 when he called his grandma early in the morning. They believe he was at his farm in Lucin at the time.

He told his grandma he would call her back later that day but never did.

Two and a half weeks into the search through the barren dessert that borders Nevada, Cooley said, “It’s been horrible because we don’t have anything.”

“We go down the rabbit hole and there’s nothing. We come back out of it, and we jump down another one and there’s still nothing,” she added.

Cooley said Rounds’ trucks, his equipment and his trailer are still on the property.

“His farm was his life,” she said. “For him to just walk away we knew was not a possibility.”

Box Elder County Chief Deputy Cade Palmer said volunteer teams have logged 300-plus hours of searching, covering more than 3,000 miles. Their detectives have spent 650 hours investigating the case, which is now considered a criminal investigation.

“If I could summarize this search, it would be difficult and exhausting,” Palmer said.

Palmer would not comment on the investigation but said they had not found anything new that would point them in the direction of where Rounds might be.

“That’s when things start looking like it’s not normal. There’s something else going on,” he said. “Whether you find evidence of a crime or not, he wasn’t in the area he was supposed to be in.”

As difficult as it was to hear “criminal investigation,” the words were overdue for Cooley, who has for a while believed there was some foul play involved in her son’s disappearance.

“We might be a little bit behind the boat, but at least it’s happening,” she said.

She also said the added investigation brings some relief, knowing that others are working around the clock to find answers about Rounds.

“You feel like you’re getting the help. It’s just a relief. It’s a weight off your shoulders. You feel like you don’t have to do it by yourselves. You’re not alone anymore.”

Cooley said she believes someone knows something and she’s determined to keep the attention on finding her son.

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Authorities ramp up search for Dylan Rounds with criminal investigation