A search for missing Utah mother Susan Cox Powell has turned up human remains, which have not yet been identified.
Powell, a stockbroker, was 28 when she was reported missing after failing to arrive at work on Dec. 7, 2009. Her husband, Josh Powell, claims to have taken the couple's two young sons on a spur-of-the-moment midnight camping trip (in freezing temperatures) the night his his wife is believed to have disappeared from their West Valley City, Utah, home.
Josh Powell has been named a person of interest in the case but has not been named a suspect. He now lives with his father Steve Powell in Puyallup, Wash. Police searched the home on Aug. 25 but did not indicate whether this week's desert search was connected to evidence found there, Fox 13 News reported.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported the body was found Wednesday about 135 miles from the Powell's home, and about 30 miles from where Josh Powell says he and the boys were camping.
Chuck Cox, Susan's father, said Wednesday he did not feel confident the remains would be identified as belonging to his daughter. Apparently there was a snowstorm in the area the night Susan is believed to have disappared.
To me, it doesn't seem like it's very likely. That area is so remote, it could be someone from 100 years ago. It doesn't feel like it's anything to get too concerned about, Cox told the Tribune. We know eventually we're going to get a call that says 'We found your daughter.' We're going to have to deal with that someday.
On Thursday, Cox appeared to have a change of heart about the likelihood the remains would be identified as Susan's, citing the proximity of the campground where Josh Powell claims to have been the night of his wife's disappearance.
It does bother me that it's in the same general area, and the more I learn about the location, the more it bothers me, Cox told ABC News, adding, They have not identified these as her remains yet. She could still be out there, maybe alive.
The bizarre case has caught the attention of West Valley City and neighboring Salt Lake City, Utah. The Facebook page of Susan Powell's friend strongly indicates that the community feels Josh Powell has somehow involved with his wife's disappearance. Police have said that Powell has been uncooperative with the investigation.
The most recent turn involves a claim by Josh Powell's father, Steve Powell, that he and Susan were having an affair, according to CBS News. Susan's family denies there was any relationship between their daughter and her father-in-law, and that Steve Powell made unwanted advances.
Powell's family has previously demonstrated an interest in characterizing Susan Powell as troubled and promiscuous, citing diary entries that Susan Cox wrote as a teenager.
In late August, Josh Powell took his sons on a yet another midnight camping trip, prompting skeptics to suspect he was posturing to establish a pattern.
What other purpose is it unless to say 'See, I did it again,' Susan Powell's friend Kiirsi Hellewell told ABC 4 News. At least there wasn't a blizzard this time.