A teen farmer’s disappearance has launched a widespread search effort, but hopeful family and friends have found no sign of the young man.
The few disturbing clues found around the Utah farm of 19-year-old Dylan Rounds are leaving investigators with little to go on. Missing since May 28, the hunt for Rounds is taking a radical new turn.
Now, authorities are launching a criminal investigation as the search effort stretches into its third week.
Rounds, an Idaho native, moved to Utah three years ago to farm a portion of his family’s land.
“This is a kid that the last three years has been out in the desolate desert tearing out new ground,” Rounds’ mother, Candice Cooley, told Fox News.
Cooley suspects foul play, believing her son would never abandon the bounty he carved out of Utah scrubland.
“My son would not walk away from that farm on his own,” Cooley said. “He was removed from it.”
Dylan Rounds was last heard from on May 28, in Lucin, Utah. His boots and truck have been recovered, but Dylan hasn’t been seen since… Can you help #FindDylanRounds? #Dateline https://t.co/zqLniT1lWX pic.twitter.com/X1kd9Ndbcc
— Dateline NBC (@DatelineNBC) June 14, 2022
Rounds was last seen at a Nevada restaurant just across the state line from his holding on May 26. Phone records show he traveled back to Utah and maintained contact with his family for two days until his disappearance.
The Box Elder County Sheriff’s Department is heading the search, posting missing person posters and canvassing the area.
Disturbing clues left behind at Rounds’ farm leave little room for theories about his mysterious disappearance.
Cooley found her son’s truck and camper still at the property. A short distance from the camper, she found Rounds’ boots. Traveling in the unforgiving Utah terrain without shoes is not something she says her son would do.
This fact alone should have immediately shifted the investigation, she claims.
“Everything should have stopped and it should have been treated 100 percent differently,” Cooley said.
The strange clues appear to have spurred authorities to do just that, with the sheriff’s department announcing the opening of a criminal investigation on Thursday, KSL-TV reported.
The sheriff’s department claims to have logged over 950 hours between detectives investigating the case and volunteer teams searching the area. In addition, some 3,000 miles of terrain have been covered.
As for Rounds’ mother, she feels like the newest development is late but welcome.
“We might be a little bit behind the boat, but at least it’s happening,” Cooley said.
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