BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah — Monday was a somber 20th birthday celebration for Dylan Rounds. He’s been missing for almost nine weeks, but his family is hopeful he’s still out there.
Across the country, people touched by his story “sowed a seed for Dylan” by planting sunflowers and “black-eyed Susan” wildflowers in honor of him.
“You know we don’t want to release balloons because we’re not looking to the sky for him. We’re looking for him down on the ground,” said his mom, Candice Cooley.
Dylan was last seen near Lucin, Utah over Memorial Day weekend. The FBI and the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office have labeled his disappearance as a “criminal case.”
Cooley spent Dylan’s birthday planting sunflower seeds across Oregon.
“I know he would love it,” she said. “That’s why I did it.”
Dylan was a farmer and grew up planting sunflowers in their yard and at his grandparents’ homes.
“It’s a tribute, it’s not a memorial. It’s a way we’re celebrating his birthday with him,” said Cooley. “His birthday was always spent in a grain field, in a combine, in a grain cart.”
People living in Utah, Idaho, Florida, Kentucky, and many other states participated. They expressed their love and support to Dylan and his family.
Inside the Bear River Valley Country Store in Corinne, Utah, dozens of packets of seeds with Dylan’s face on them were available for customers to take for free.
Manager Zachary Davis said a customer brought them in Monday hoping to help spread awareness to Dylan’s case.
“His family is really putting forth effort and they want answers. We feel for them, our thoughts and prayers go out for them,” he said.
Davis said the Bear River Valley Country Store was “set up by the farmers for the farmers.” It only made sense that they helped out a fellow farmer.
“It’s one of those industries that’s a good industry to be in,” he said. “Everybody kind of watches out for each other and helps out where we can.”
Back in July, the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Department identified James Brenner as a suspect. No criminal charges have been filed in this specific case.
FOX 13 News reached out to the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Department for an update in the investigation but has not heard back.
People from different states sent photos of their planted sunflower seeds from all across the country: