Update: Mother concerned after missing man’s boots found in Box Elder County

Dylan Rounds, 19, has been missing since the last week of May, 2022. He was last seen in the Lucin area of Box Elder County. Photos: Box Elder County Sheriff's Office

LUCIN, Utah, June 9, 2022 (East Idaho News/Gephardt Daily) — The mother of a 19-year-old man missing for nearly two weeks says she’s concerned after her son’s boots were found with a spot of blood on them on his Box Elder County property.

Dylan Rounds began farming grain a few years ago in the desert town of Lucin near the Utah/Nevada border, East Idaho News reported. Family members say he lives by himself in a camp trailer on a remote piece of land, and they haven’t heard from him since he called his grandmother the morning of May 28.

“He said he couldn’t talk. He had to get his grain truck in the shed because he had seed in it,” Rounds’ mother, Candice Cooley, told East Idaho News. “He was planting, and he couldn’t get his seed wet.”

Nobody heard from Rounds over the weekend, and by May 30, his family became concerned and went to the farm. They called police and Box Elder County Search and Rescue when Rounds was not there. Crews arrived and began scouring the property.

“Within the first hour and a half, they found his boots. From where his grain truck was parked, his boots were about 100 yards south behind a pile of dirt just casually tossed out,” said Cooley, who lives in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

“He was very particular about his boots. He wears a pair, and it’s always the same pair. When they wear out, he goes and buys exactly the same boots,” she said.

The boots did not look faded and had dirt on them. Cooley says detectives told her there was a spot of blood on the footwear and they would be sent to a lab for testing. Late last week, the family was informed that police were hanging on to the boots in case cadaver dogs needed them for a scent, she said.

Another suspicious discovery

The lack of tire tracks in the dirt leading to or from Rounds’ pickup truck also is concerning, Cooley said. The weekend he disappeared, it was raining in Lucin, so had he left and come back, there would have been markings in the ground, she said.

But it appears the truck was pressure washed, as it was noticeably clean, Cooley said.

“There is no mud on the tires, there’s no mud on the rims, but the wheel wells are full of mud like they’ve been driven in the rain,” she said. “It’s been cleaned except the wheel wells.”

Cooley also noted that the pickup’s “seat was scooted up to the point I didn’t even have to move it to drive,” she said, adding that she’s 4-foot-11 and Rounds is 5-11. “Every time I’ve ever gotten in Dylan’s pickup, I can’t reach the pedals.”

Cooley also noticed the truck was in four-wheel drive, but the family was aware the truck’s four-wheel drive had not been working since Rounds got a new transmission transfer case several months ago. Rounds often complained about not being able to use the feature and having to drive his truck without it, she said.

Rounds’ wallet and phone are missing, but everything else appears normal at the farm. Cooley says police got a ping on the phone that was at or within 15 miles of his property at 3:41 p.m. on May 28.

Last seen in Nevada

Rounds often visited Montello, Nevada, which is 26 miles from Lucin, and it’s the last place someone physically saw him.

“He’d go into the bar in Montello and meet up with friends, but they never came out (to Lucin) with him. There’s no reason to come out there because there’s nothing there,” Cooley said. “We don’t even know if he made it back to Utah.”

Cooley says search and rescue crews, family and friends have done a thorough search of Rounds’ property and around Lucin to the Nevada border. Utah officials have been helpful, and now she hopes the focus can shift to Nevada.

“We are begging for Nevada officials to help us. I think he was taken, and he did not leave his place willingly. We need Nevada to help us out,” Cooley said.

Days before Rounds vanished, he had an encounter with a suspicious barefooted man who asked him for a ride, family members said. Cooley originally thought this man might have something to do with Rounds’ disappearance, but she has since spoken with the man and he is now in police custody on unrelated matters.

Cooley said she does not believe the man knows anything about her son’s whereabouts, but she is leaving it to the police to question him.

Search planned for Saturday

Rounds’ family is planning for a large search Saturday, and they hope to find more clues about his whereabouts. Cooley says her son was not mentally distressed, has no enemies, was not dating anyone and his biggest care was the farm.

“Dylan’s biggest stress was getting his crop to grow,” she said. “This kid, he is not a typical kid. He doesn’t know how to play video games. He was born in the wrong generation. That farm was his life, and he would never leave it.”

Rounds’ parents are offering a $20,000 reward for information about his whereabouts. Anyone with information is asked to call the Box Elder Sheriff’s Office at 435-734-3800.

The family also is posting updates on the Find Dylan Rounds Facebook page.



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