Police say they’ll keep searching desert for signs of Susan Powell
By Nate Carlisle
The Salt Lake Tribune
First published: Sep 20 2011 06:44PM Updated 4 hours ago
Fish Springs • The Juab County search for Susan Cox Powell, originally supposed to last four days last week, may go days longer as police and volunteers continue looking for the missing West Valley City woman.
"We’re covering a lot of ground and we’re going to continue moving forward until we cover all the ground we need to," said West Valley City police Sgt. Mike Powell, who is no relation to Susan Powell.
Mike Powell later added, "There is no definite end to the search."
The ninth day of the search produced a few articles of clothing found on the desert floor, but no definite signs of the woman who has been missing for 21 months, Powell said.
Powell said searchers are continuing to make progress by combing the dirt and sagebrush of Juab County. But a look at maps Tuesday revealed there were some "accessible" locations searchers passed earlier in the operation, Powell said. Searchers have stayed away from steep inclines but tried to cover everything else here.
The search has been located near Topaz Mountain, but Tuesday, West Valley City police moved their command post near Fish Springs to the junction of State Road 174 and the Pony Express Trail. The junction is 35 miles east of Simpson Springs, where Josh Powell, the only person of interest named in his wife’s disappearance, said he took his two young sons camping on the night of the disappearance.
Police officers from West Valley City as well as the search and rescue teams from Juab, Millard, Beaver, Iron, Sevier, Kane, Washington and Wayne counties hiked or rode all-terrain vehicles. A group from Juab County rode horses and mules.In the afternoon, the gravel-covered Pony Express Trail served as a landing strip for a private airplane and pilot working as a spotter in the search. There was another 100 people on the ground.
"Obviously, it’s not exactly a ride in the park," Mike Powell said. "It’s tough terrain out here. It’s very hot out here."
Temperatures were in the 80s here Tuesday, as they have been for most of the nine days.
West Valley City police have continued the search as more law enforcement sent help. The number of searched square miles was not available Tuesday, but the command post has moved 20 miles west since the first day.
But West Valley City police also have acknowledged they have found no evidence they are searching for Susan Powell in the right place. Last week, cadaver dogs led searchers to an area the dogs indicated was a grave. Police found only charred wood they say may have been used to burn a body, but there is no indication of whose body or if there was a body.