CRIME

‘We have fought so hard for charges’: Dylan Rounds’ mother reacts to murder charge in son’s disappearance

Mar 4, 2023, 9:36 PM | Updated: Apr 10, 2024, 5:29 pm

LUCIN, Box Elder County — A day after formal murder and desecration of a body charges were filed in her son’s disappearance, Dylan Rounds’ mother is speaking out about the last nine months.

“Knowing who our son was, knowing what he would do in our position is what has kept me going forward,” Candice Cooley said.

Cooley said Rounds was a hard worker who dreamed of being a big farmer. He was 19 when he vanished from the tiny town of Lucin on the Utah-Nevada border in May 2022.

She said the last nine months had been a difficult, frustrating rollercoaster of emotions.

“We knew the first day we got out there when we saw Dylan’s boots what happened,” Cooley said. “For us, this is a win. We have fought so hard for charges.”

On Friday, prosecutors announced charges of aggravated murder and abuse or desecration of a dead body against 59-year-old James Brenner — who was previously named as a suspect and is already in custody on unrelated charges.

“This is good news,” Cooley told KSL TV on Saturday. “We don’t have a conviction and we don’t have Dylan’s body, but we won the first battle.”

Court documents state that during the search for Rounds’ a pair of his boots were located, one with a blood stain. An analysis found DNA belonging to Rounds and Brenner.

Phone data also showed Rounds’ movements on the day he vanished, including his visit to a remote property where Brenner was squatting. The last signal from the phone was at the Lucin pond, where a search located it.

Investigators performed a forensic download of the phone and found a time-lapse video showing a time stamp taken when Rounds disappeared.

“The video showed Defendant (Brenner) with blood stains on his arms and shirt as he is cleaning a gun. The shirt which Defendant is wearing in the video was analyzed and the victim’s DNA was found on the shirt,” court documents state. “Defendant was interviewed and made several claims that corroborated forensic evidence in addition to making numerous demonstrably false statements.”

Judge: Suspect in Dylan Rounds’ disappearance is a danger to the community

Cooley described the evidence as solid.

“If a jury doesn’t convict him, I will be absolutely shocked,” she expressed.

Dylan was originally from eastern Idaho but spent the last three years off and on living in Lucin.

Authorities said Brenner was squatting in a trailer and was Dylan’s closest neighbor. Cooley pushed back at descriptions that Benner was a family friend, saying that was not the case.

Cooley said she’s confident that her family and volunteers will find her son’s body.

“When the weather breaks, and we can get out there—and if some sort of deal hasn’t been cut and we’re still facing trial—we will spend the whole summer out there finding our son, and we will find him,” she said.

Brenner was previously ordered to be held in U.S. custody until his trial on firearm charges. At the same time, Friday’s court records included a summons to the Box Elder County Jail for booking.

KSL 5 TV Live

Crime

Gilbert Carrasquillo (GC Images/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)...

Cindy Von Quednow, CNN

Former ‘General Hospital’ actor Johnny Wactor fatally shot in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former “General Hospital” actor Johnny Wactor was fatally shot in downtown Los Angeles while interrupting thieves Saturday, according to his agent and CNN affiliate KABC. The actor, who played Brando Corbin in the hospital soap opera, was shot as he left work early Saturday morning, his mother told KABC, In a […]

3 hours ago

A resident of a homeless shelter in Sandy has been jailed on suspicion of murder in the death of a ...

Tim Vandenack, KSL.com

Sandy homeless shelter resident jailed on suspicion of killing roommate

A resident of a homeless shelter in Sandy has been jailed on suspicion of murder in the death of a roommate at the Medically Vulnerable People Program Facility.

8 hours ago

emergency lights...

Mark Jones

Man taken into custody for alleged assaults at Cathedral of the Madeleine

A 31-year-old man was arrested Sunday after he allegedly began assaulting random people duing Sunday service at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.

22 hours ago

FILE PHOTO...

Collin Leonard, KSL.com

Layton man charged with killing his father now charged with threatening puppy owner

A Layton man charged this month with brutally killing his father now faces an additional criminal charge after police say he threatened to kill a man selling puppies the day before his father was found dead.

1 day ago

FILE - Police lights (Ray Boone, KSL TV)...

Mary Culbertson

Man shot, killed in Salt Lake City homicide

One man is dead after he was shot in a Glendale neighborhood. Police are investigating the shooting as a homicide.

1 day ago

Christopher "Topher" Owens and William "Drew" Bull were last seen on February 26 in Blanding...

Mark Jones

Man accused in the killing of two missing men earlier this year is facing additional charges

A man accused of killing two men missing from San Juan County earlier this year is facing additional charges.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

‘We have fought so hard for charges’: Dylan Rounds’ mother reacts to murder charge in son’s disappearance