The Man Who Killed Dylan Rounds Led Police to His Burial Site — What Happened?

In a video recovered from Dylan Rounds's phone, authorities saw a man in a bloody shirt cleaning blood off his hands and a gun.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Apr. 10 2024, Published 1:25 p.m. ET

As of the time of this writing, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System reports there are 129 open missing persons cases in the state of Idaho. Per the organization's website, the "database only contains information on individuals who have been voluntarily reported as missing, unidentified, or unclaimed to NamUs."

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This means there could be more people who have seemingly vanished. Dylan Rounds was one of those individuals — until April 2024. What happened to him? Here's what we know.

What happened to Dylan Rounds? He went missing in 2022.

Memorial Day weekend generally is the official kickoff to summer and involves a relentless amount of barbecues, pools, weekend getaways, and hopefully sunscreen. Unfortunately for Rounds, that was the last time anyone spoke with the 19-year-old who disappeared that weekend in 2022 from his Idaho farm.

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According to the Mercury News, Rounds spoke with his grandmother on the phone the afternoon of May 28. He let her know that because it was supposed to rain that day, he needed to "put his grain truck in a shed that was five miles from where he was living." Two days later, Rounds's bloody boots were located near the shed. Three weeks after that gruesome discovery, his phone was retrieved from a pond in the area.

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When authorities were able to conduct a forensic examination of Rounds's phone, they stumbled upon a strange video. It was recorded at 7:27 a.m. on May 28 and featured a man wearing a bloody shirt. In the video, he was washing blood off his hands as well as a gun. "How did that phone start recording? It has driven us crazy," asked Rounds's mother Candice Cooley. They are lucky that it did because it led them to James Brenner.

Where is James Brenner now?

A month after Rounds disappeared, authorities arrested Brenner for possession of a firearm, per the East Idaho News. The 59-year-old was "sentenced in 2012 to 33 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm" and had prior felony convictions on his record. Due to his status as a felon, Brenner is legally unable to own a gun. Apparently, he was "squatting" in a trailer that was roughly five miles away from Rounds's property.

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The outlet then reported that in March 2023, Brenner was charged with "one count of aggravated murder and one count of abuse or desecration of a human body" related to Rounds's murder. He was still incarcerated but evidence surrounding his involvement in Rounds's death was enough to bring a formal charge against Brenner.

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Sadly on April 9, 2024, the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office released a statement regarding Rounds's body. They announced that the "skeletal remains presumed to belong to Dylan Rounds were recovered in the remote western Box Elder County area of Lucin." Brenner reportedly led authorities to the place where Rounds was buried, via CBS News.

The Box Elder County Sheriff's Office expressed their condolences to the Rounds family saying, "We understand that the pain of their loss is immeasurable, and we want to express our deepest sympathies to them. It is our hope that they can find peace moving forward." They also thanked all who were involved in locating him. Rounds's mother told the East Idaho News, "We are grateful we now have Dylan's body and can bring him home as we continue our fight for justice."

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