SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Chase Venstra has been cleared from the investigation of Dylan Rounds.
The 19-year-old disappeared in late May and has not been heard from since. He was operating his farm near the town of Lucin in western Box Elder County at the time.
“I am not surprised that they haven’t found anything physically because the desert is so unforgiving,” said Dylan’s mother, Candice Cooley.
Nearly two months after the investigation began, two people emerged in connection to Rounds’ disappearance.
Two neighbors — Chase Venstra and James Brenner — are now in jail following possible connections to the case.
According to Dylan’s mother, those two have the answers.
“I absolutely believe so,” said Cooley. “I 100% believe so.”
Box Elder authorities named Brenner a suspect in Dylan’s disappearance.
But Venstra was connected to the disappearance based on a federal document which stated, “Davis County Sheriff’s office and Box Elder Sheriff’s Office executed a residential search warrant on Venstra’s known residence… in conjunction with a homicide investigation.”
Two months later, no one’s been charged.
“We are just hoping that they get that one piece that somebody can be charged with and finally use it,” said Cooley.
But yesterday in federal court, a podcast host met with the federal prosecutor following Venstra’s brief court appearance. He is facing federal gun violations similar to Brenner.
“He said that as far as he knows, Chase Venstra is no longer a person of interest in Dylan Rounds’ disappearance,” the host of True Crime Utah said. “And that is a shock.”
The podcast was instantly picked up by other podcast channels. Some doubted the information was true. It was a topic on the podcast, “Um No Thanks Investigates” last night.”
“We were talking about how Chase is no longer a person of interest and how he made a deal and I’m not believing anything,” said Douglas Hutton who hosts the podcast. “I don’t think anyone is going to tell us anything unless it’s a press release.”
But late Thursday, Cooley said she spoke with an FBI agent about Venstra’s involvement. She said the FBI never considered him a person of interest and that the search warrant was misconstrued.
The bottom line — Venstra’s been cleared.
Cooley said the only person who is the target of the investigation now is James Brenner. He remains in jail and has pleaded not guilty to the gun violation charges. His trial is scheduled for September.