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Presumed remains of missing teen found in Utah after accused killer reportedly leads authorities to burial site

Skeletal remains found in a remote part of western Utah are believed to belong to Dylan Rounds, a 19-year-old farmer who disappeared in 2022, authorities announced Tuesday, after the man charged in Rounds' death reportedly led authorities to the burial site.

The human remains were discovered Tuesday in Lucin, a small railroad community located about 200 miles northwest of Salt Lake City, the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office announced in a news release.

Dylan Rounds Box Elder County Sheriff's Office

The FBI processed the area for evidence and recovered the remains, which are in the possession of the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner to confirm the identity, officials said.

Rounds was last seen on his farm in Lucin and reported missing on May 30, 2022, CBS affiliate KUTV reported.

In March 2023, the sheriff's office announced that James Brenner was charged with aggravated murder and abuse or desecration of a human body for the murder of Rounds and the disposal of his body.  Brenner led investigators to the location of Rounds' burial site Tuesday as part of a plea agreement, Rounds' mother Candice Cooley told the East Idaho News.

"We thank everyone for their support and love," Cooley told the outlet. "We are grateful we now have Dylan's body and can bring him home as we continue our fight for justice."

According to a probable cause statement, Rounds' last signal to his phone was pinged to a pond not far from where Brenner was staying, KUTV reported. Rounds' boots were found near a dirt mound and his phone was discovered at the bottom of the pond, the East Idaho News previously reported.

Rounds spoke with his grandmother on the phone before he disappeared but that was the last time his family heard from him, the outlet reported.  

The sheriff's office said Tuesday that it would not release any more information so as not to compromise the ongoing legal proceedings.

"Our hearts go out to the family of Dylan Rounds," the office said. "We offer our sincerest condolences for the loss of their family member. 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."

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