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Saturday
Sep172011

Search for Susan Powell: Police Checking Shallow Grave

Comstock/Thinkstock(WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah) -- Searchers were back at the site of a shallow grave in the mountains of Utah Saturday, trying to determine whether it contains the remains of missing Utah mother Susan Powell.

No bones, tissue or definitive evidence related to Powell have been found in the grave site, which is near Topaz Mountain, said Sgt. Mike Powell of the West Valley City Police Department.

The search resumed Saturday after being called off because of a rainstorm and heavy wind, Powell said.

"They're continuing on with the search efforts as we speak," Sgt. Powell said. "They started up again about 9 a.m. today, continuing with the ground search, involving the ATVs and also the specialized search dogs."

Susan Powell's father, Chuck Cox, was at the site Saturday observing the efforts to find out what happened to his daughter, who has been missing since December 2009.

"He was somewhat emotional," Sgt. Powell said. "Obviously very difficult for him to have any type of involvement in particular to be somewhere there may be something developing."

Cox said Wednesday that although investigators finding Susan alive would be ideal, the discovery of her body would at least bring some closure as to what happened to her.

"I'd rather they find her alive. But if they find her body, then at least we know she's not with us anymore," Cox said, adding that Wednesday's discovery of human remains "doesn't get our hopes up a lot."

"At the same time, it could be the break. We live that every day. Every phone call we get could be the one that tells us we've found Susan," he said.

Cadaver dogs that had been combing the fields around Topaz Mountain, near Delta, Utah, found the grave site Wednesday, police said.

Susan Powell, the West Valley City, Utah, mother of two, disappeared in December 2009, while her husband, Josh Powell, allegedly took their children camping at midnight in a snow and rain storm.

The campsite he told police he went to is 30 miles away from the desert where the remains were found.

Josh Powell has long been a person of interest in the investigation, and police recently raided the home he and his father share in Washington.

Prior to that, police had searched abandoned mines in Ely, Nevada, in connection to the case.

Josh Powell's father Steven Powell has publicly theorized that his daughter-in-law disappeared with a man from St. George, Utah, who disappeared from a Christmas party abruptly the same night she vanished.

Cox alleges that Steven Powell made sexual advances towards his daughter, prompting her and the family to move to Utah to escape him.

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