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BREAKING NEWS – “Criminal Charges Filed in Dylan Rounds Missing Persons Case”

Dylan Rounds - Courtesy Photo

BOX ELDER COUNTY - By Cari Doutre, Headliner Publisher, March 3, 2023

Criminal charges have officially been filed in the case of a 19-year-old Lucin man missing since May 2022. Dylan Rounds was reported missing by family members on May 30, 2022, from the property he was living at while farming grain near Lucin in rural western Box Elder County. Rounds was last heard from on May 28, and search efforts to find him have been unsuccessful.

James Brenner, 59, has been charged with one count of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony and one count of abuse or desecration of a human body, a third-degree felony in connection with the disappearance of Rounds. Charges were filed on March 3, by the Box Elder County Attorney's office in Brigham City's 1st District Court.

According to a probable cause statement in charging documents, during search efforts to locate Rounds, deputies discovered a pair of boots belonging to the victim nearby and that "one boot had a blood stain that DNA analysis confirmed belonged to the victim in addition to DNA belonging to Defendant."

The victim's phone records were obtained by investigators "showed movements of the day of his disappearance on a remote property in Lucin where Defendant was squatting. Phone data showed that the last signal from the victim's phone was at the Lucin pond and a search of the pond led to the discovery of the victim's phone."

"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 Defendant 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."

Brenner was interviewed and made several claims that corroborated forensic evidence in addition to making numerous demonstrably false statements, as stated in court documents.

"Despite a thorough investigation and extensive search, the victim's body was not recovered due to Defendant removing and concealing it," documents add.

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James Brenner - Photo courtesy of ABC 4 News

After Rounds went missing, authorities found Brenner "squatting" in a trailer on a parcel of land five miles away from where Rounds was living by himself in a camp trailer while he farmed grain. After Rounds went missing Brenner was interviewed by authorities on June 7, and was later named a suspect in connection to the disappearance of Rounds. Authorities also discovered that Brenner had also worked on Round’s property at one point in recent years and was considered a "family friend" of Rounds.

On June 16, Box Elder County Sheriff's Office along with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, served a search warrant on Brenner's trailer. During that search, "ball ammunition, ignition caps, black powder, and speed loads, all related to 'muzzle loading' were located and photographed in the trailer, but the items were not seized at this time," according to court documents.

When investigators interviewed another neighbor on June 20, it was discovered that Brenner brought three black powder guns and a .22 caliber rifle over to the neighbor's residence after Rounds went missing asking him to "safekeep" them. Charging documents also state that when Brenner was questioned by the neighbor on why he wanted the guns kept at the residence, Brenner stated it was for "his own safety" and that "the last time he had trouble with the law they took everything from him, and he did not want the things he had left to be taken again."

The firearms were handed over to authorities. Charging documents state that another search warrant was issued on June 21, where investigators seized more ammunition, a muzzle loader, black powder and ignition caps.

On June 30, Brenner was charged with three third-degree felony counts of being a restricted person in possession of a firearm in 1st District Court on July 23, and one charge being a felon in possession of a firearm in the U.S. District Court of Utah.

In a joint press release sent out by the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation on July 7, 2022, it states that “when Dylan Rounds was not located early on in the search effort, the investigation focused on the possibility of Dylan being the victim of a crime.”

It continues on adding information gathered from interviews and searches and “along with the analysis of both physical evidence and forensic data, has identified James Brenner as a suspect.”


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