Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
IDAHO FALLS — The FBI is now involved in the case of an eastern Idaho man who disappeared from a remote farm near the Utah/Nevada border nearly a month ago.
Dylan Rounds, 19, had been farming in the desert town of Lucin, Utah, during summer months over the past few years. His grandmother last spoke with him on May 28 and nobody has heard from him since then. There has been no sign of Rounds anywhere and no activity on his cell phone or bank account, according to his parents.
Multiple searches have been conducted in the remote Utah town and in nearby Montello, Nevada. The Box Elder County Sheriff's Office is the lead law enforcement agency but the FBI confirms it is now helping with the investigation.
"We routinely offer our assistance and resources to our law enforcement partners," FBI spokeswoman Sandra Barker tells EastIdahoNews.
A plea for help
Dylan's mom and dad sat down with EastIdahoNews on Wednesday in their first joint interview since their son vanished. They hope the FBI's involvement will lead to some answers.
"The main goal is to find Dylan. That's the first and only priority but (the other goal) is to just find out who did what and make sure they get what they got coming to them with the law or whatever," says Justin Rounds, Dylan's father.
Justin last spoke with Dylan on Thursday, May 26 — two days before he disappeared. Justin was driving to Las Vegas and his son was talking about his tractor before the cell phone reception cut out.
When nobody had heard from the young man by Sunday, May 29, Justin and Candice Cooley, Dylan's mom, went to his farm with other family members. They found nothing was out of place or suspicious.
"We figured Dylan put his grain truck in the shed like he told his grandma (on the last phone call), took off walking to his camper, and was out there with a broken leg or was bit by a snake," Cooley explains.
The group began searching the property and about 90 minutes later, Dylan's boots were found behind a pile of dirt around 300 yards from his grain truck.
'Just come forward'
"The boots were found in the opposite direction as if he was walking toward his camper," says Cooley.
There was a dark substance on the boots that the family thought could have been grease or oil. They say investigators have since told them it was blood but it may be from an animal.
Justin and Candice have spent nearly every day in Lucin or Montello looking for clues to their son's disappearance. ATVs, helicopters, dogs and drones have assisted and the parents have spoken with people in the rural community. They believe someone knows what happened to Dylan.
"Just come forward. We need to have something. We need a direction. Even if you don't think it's important, the smallest little piece of something could help. Please tell us," Cooley says.
While the family has received tips from people around the world about where Dylan could be, they've had to deal with misinformation about the case. Strangers have set up online fundraisers using Dylan's name and pictures but his parents say those are not official. The family has not created any GoFundMe accounts or asked for monetary donations from the public. They want to stress they are not working with any private investigators — just law enforcement.
"I've been everywhere out there, in places I would never want to go again," Justin says. "I just wish people with tips would reach out to law enforcement if they really thought they had something."
The Box Elder County Sheriff's Office has assigned every detective to Dylan's case, according to Chief Deputy Cade Palmer. Teams have been in the area almost every day but so far there are no solid leads.
"Every time we think there's an open window, it's followed by a closed door," Palmer says. "There are a lot of interviews that have happened but no clear evidence pointing at anybody. If anyone knows anything about this, they aren't coming forward. They haven't given any indication that they know anything."
While the family has conducted volunteer searches in Lucin and Montello, they're holding off organizing anything official with the public again until there is more solid information on where to look.
Rounds' parents are offering a $20,000 reward to anyone who finds him or knows where he might be. If you have any information on his whereabouts, call the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office at 435-734-3800. The family is posting updates on the Find Dylan Rounds Facebook page.