LUCIN, Utah (ABC4) –After nine months of investigation, a man was charged on Friday, for the alleged murder of Dylan Rounds.
James Brenner, 60, was formally charged with aggravated murder, and abuse or desecration of a human body on Friday, Mar. 3.
In May of 2022, Dylan Rounds, 19, from East Idaho, went missing. According to his parents, he had been living in an RV camper near the Nevada-Utah border working on farming land when he disappeared. Authorities are calling it a homicide investigation.
Brenner, who worked on Rounds’ farm, is the lead suspect in the case. According to Rounds’ parents, he was one of the last people that Rounds contacted. And according to the charging documents, during the initial search for Rounds, deputies discovered a pair of boots belonging to the victim nearby. One boot had a blood stain on it, that DNA analysis confirmed belonged to Rounds, and the boots also had Brenner’s DNA on them. According to Rounds’ parents, Brenner had allegedly moved Rounds’ boots after he was missing.
The charging documents also stated that after Rounds’ phone records were obtained, they show that on the day of his disappearance, there was movement on a remote property in Lucin where Brenner was squatting. The last signal from Rounds’ phone was at the Lucin pond, and in a search of the pond, Rounds’ phone was discovered.
A digital forensic download of the phone was conducted and led to the discovery of a time-lapse video with a time stamp taken at the time of the victim’s disappearance. The video showed Brenner cleaning a gun with blood stains on his arms and shirt. The shirt was obtained and analyzed by authorities, and Rounds’ DNA was on it.
Brenner was charged in the First District Court in Box Elder County in connection with the disappearance of Dylan Rounds, for the alleged murder, and the disposal of Rounds’ body. The charging documents state that Rounds’ body was not recovered due to Brenner allegedly removing and concealing it.
In a press release by Box Elder County Sheriff’s office, they said,
“The evidence supports that James Brenner is the only suspect. Although the remains of Dylan Rounds have yet to be located, we are hopeful that they will be found in the future. We express our condolences to the family of Dylan Rounds.”
Rounds’ parents said people can help by donating to Dylan’s Legacy website and Facebook, which will be live in mid-March. They said this will go into getting drones to locate his body, as well as create a system to help people farm some of Rounds’ favorite plants in his legacy.