No sign of Susan Powell's remains on Oregon property

Utah mother disappeared in 2009

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Updated: May 16, 2013, 11:05 AM

 

SCOTTS MILLS, Ore. — After spending two days at a rural Oregon property looking for traces of missing Utah mother Susan Powell, police have found no signs of her and have exhausted the lead, authorities said Thursday.

“It’s been a meticulously investigated case. We’ve looked at every tip and aspect” and will continue to do so, said Sgt. Mike Powell, spokesman for West Valley City police in Utah.

He said he believed police were wrapping up the search.

“We’re still looking for Susan,” he told The Associated Press.

The property is located near Scotts Mills, northeast of Salem, Oregon’s capital.

In an interview Wednesday night, Susan Powell’s father said he hoped the investigators would turn up some sign of her.

“I’m disappointed,” said Chuck Cox, who accompanied some of the search dogs on the hunt. “I just don’t know where she is, but we’ll keep looking for her.”

He said the Oregon property had ties to the family.

Susan Powell was reported missing in December 2009 after she didn’t show up for work. Her husband, Josh, maintained his innocence and said he took the couple’s young boys on a midnight camping trip in freezing temperatures the night his wife disappeared.

In February 2012, Josh Powell locked a social worker out of his home at the start of a supervised visit, then killed himself and the couple’s two young children, attacking his young sons with a hatchet and then setting the house ablaze. Days earlier, a court had ordered Powell to undergo an intensive psychosexual evaluation as part of a custody dispute.

Josh Powell was never charged in his wife’s disappearance, but unsealed documents say authorities found Susan Powell’s blood on a floor next to a sofa that appeared to have been recently cleaned, with two fans set up to blow on it. Investigators also found life insurance policies on Susan Powell and determined that Josh Powell had filed paperwork to withdraw her retirement account money about 10 days after her disappearance.

Anne Bremner, an attorney for the Cox family, said the brother of Josh Powell had said in a deposition that he had driven to Oregon and abandoned a vehicle there. The brother, Michael Powell, committed suicide earlier this year.

Bremner said she’s still interested in seeing more work at the property, including the possibility of having volunteers go to the site to help search.

Cox said he appreciated that investigators spent time on the Oregon search, saying it showed a dedication and determination to find his daughter.