Sunday, September 18, 2011

Susan Cox Search Continues

(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Cadaver dogs from several law enforcement agencies in the state are unloaded as they get ready to search for the body of Susan Powell in an area around Topaz Mountain in Juab County about 40 miles north west of Delta on Utah Wednesday.
Susan Powell search continues, moves to Topaz Mountain itself
Topaz Mountain • After completing their investigation of an area where cadaver dogs had indicated human remains, search crews regrouped Sunday and began searching other areas in the desert near Delta for missing woman Susan Powell.
The Sunday search crew numbered about 100 — the largest group yet to assemble in the area — and included Juab and Millard County search and rescue teams.
The plan for the day was to divide the search into five areas, covering several square miles. The search now will focus on Topaz Mountain itself, rather than the surrounding areas where teams have searched for the past week.
People on ATVs and horseback, along with several cadaver dogs, likely will continue looking through Tuesday, said West Valley City Police Lt. Bill Merritt.
Police had expressed disappointment that the area they had begun excavating on Wednesday contained only about 100 small pieces of charred wood, which they believe may have been used to burn human remains.
Merritt said Saturday there was "a very good possibility" the site was, at some time, a crime scene. He added: "Whether it’s linked to ours, we don’t know."
Cadaver dogs, trained to detect human decomposition, stopped indicating there was anything in the hole after the pieces of charred wood had been removed. The hole was 2 feet wide and 3 feet long and a little over 2 feet deep at point when excavation was halted Saturday evening.
Police said the burnt wood pieces would be examined by a forensic specialist.
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Chuck Cox, Susan Powell’s father, said Saturday he has no doubt there are traces of human remains in what was found because of what the canines had indicated.
But he said he doesn’t hold out a lot of hope for what could be "taken off" a piece of wood that has been burned.
Cox added that he felt the search has been worthwhile and is a step toward to finding his missing daughter.
"I wanted to come down to thank [police] for looking and give my support in case they found something," Cox said.

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