CRIME

Dylan Rounds’ mother says finding his remains brings needed closure

Apr 10, 2024, 6:07 PM | Updated: 7:54 pm

LUCIN, Box Elder County — The family of a Box Elder County man who disappeared nearly two years ago say they’re finally starting to get some closure after his remains were found Tuesday.

The Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office said with the help of the FBI, they were able to find what they believe are the skeletal remains of 17-year-old Dylan Rounds.

Late Wednesday evening the Box Elder Sheriff Department confirmed the remains belonged to Rounds.

Rounds’ mother, Candice Cooley, said finding her son’s remains was part of a plea deal with the man who is suspected of Rounds’s murder, 60-year-old James Brenner. Brenner faces charges of aggravated murder and abuse or desecration of a human body.

According to police, Rounds’ phone had a video of Brenner in a bloodied shirt and cleaning a gun.

Cooley told KSL TV that the last few years were rough, as she knew her son was somewhere out in the desert near Lucin, but not knowing exactly was rough.

“In reality, it’s every day. Is it the phone call going to be the one that somebody stumbled across, Dylan?” she said.

A photo of Dylan Rounds who has been missing since May 2022.

A photo of Dylan Rounds, who has been missing since May 28, 2022. (Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office)

But now, Cooley said the family can begin the process of healing, hopefully soon, lay her son to rest.

“We’re working through it. It’ll take some time, but we’ll be okay,” Cooley said.

The family said Rounds’ dream was to live in the Lucin desert and farm the land. Cooley said her son wanted to see the land thrive.

“He would have developed that whole valley again,” she said. “I mean, that’s what Dylan was. And if people know it, that’s, you know, his life was cut short, and it sucks. It’s not fair.”

The path moving forward will still be difficult, but Cooley said several things still need to happen.

Rounds’ family knows Brenner as he used to live on his family’s property and worked with Rounds. According to police, Brenner was squatting in a trailer and was Rounds’s closest neighbor when he went missing.

Cooley said she is trying to accept that Brenner made a plea deal with prosecutors, hinting that further details will come during sentencing.

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

But she’d like to see some laws change to protect victims and their families better.

“What is Dylan entitled to? Because, frankly, Dylan didn’t have a single right in this whole thing. And that’s not right. It should not be that way,” Cooley said.

She said what they’re working towards will also come with time, but until then, Rounds’ family has the support of family, friends and many others.

Many of Rounds’s loved ones are planting and posting pictures of sunflowers, something that Cooley said he loved as a kid into adulthood.

“I wish every family had the support that we had when it comes to a missing person because that’s truly what it takes to get you through it,” she said.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Dylan Rounds’ mother says finding his remains brings needed closure