A video recovered from the phone of a missing 19-year-old shows the man accused of his murder wearing a bloodstained shirt and cleaning a gun, prosecutors revealed in court documents.

Dylan Rounds, who lived by himself on a farm near Lucin, Utah, was reported missing on May 30, 2022. On March 3, his 59-year-old neighbor James Brenner was arrested and charged with aggravated murder and abuse and desecration of a human body, according to the Box Elder County sheriff’s office. In a probable cause statement, prosecutors described a key piece of evidence: a time-lapse video retrieved from Rounds’s phone that his mother said was taken just 30 minutes after the last time his family heard from him. 

An initial search for Rounds after he was reported missing found a pair of his boots with bloodstains that DNA analysis showed belonged to him and Brenner, prosecutors said in the probable cause statement. 

“At that point, it should have been treated as foul play,” his mother, Candice Cooley, told NewsNation. “You just don’t see someone’s boots in the desert that’s missing.”

Brenner was first named as a suspect in July 2022 after a joint investigation between the FBI and local authorities, but no criminal charges relating to Rounds’s disappearance were filed at the time, according to a joint statement from the FBI and Box Elder County sheriff’s office. 

According to court documents, Brenner had been “squatting” in a trailer 5 miles away from Rounds’s home. Authorities searched Brenner’s trailer on June 16 and found ammunition for a muzzleloader rifle; however, no gun was discovered at that time. 

Authorities said they searched Brenner’s trailer again on June 21, finding a rifle with no serial number attached to it. The gun was taken into evidence, and Brenner was taken into custody on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

Original Article