Search resumes in Utah desert for missing mom

AP News
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Posted: Sep 18, 2011 5:44 PM
Search resumes in Utah desert for missing mom

Police on Sunday resumed a search of the Utah desert as they investigated the disappearance of a mother two years ago.

Searchers stopped excavating Saturday at a spot where cadaver dogs had indicated there might be human remains. No body was found but police did discover charred wood chips that will be examined by a forensics expert.

The dogs led police to the site Wednesday, just off a dirt road near the base of Topaz Mountain, a popular rock-hounding spot in remote central Utah.

The area is more than 130 miles from the location where Susan Powell was last seen at her West Valley City home on Dec. 7, 2009.

West Valley police Sgt. Mike Powell, who is not related to Susan Powell, said searchers will continue to scour the area around the mountain. Authorities have been searching the area since Monday and will likely search for a few more days.

"They're haven't covered all of the ground in the area," Mike Powell said.

The area is about 30 miles south of where Susan Powell's husband, Josh Powell, told police he took his two young children camping on the night his wife vanished. He told police he and their young sons _ then 4 and 2 _ left his wife at home about 12:30 a.m. The 4-year-old confirmed the trip to police.

Josh Powell is the only person of interest in the case, although he has never been arrested or charged. He has denied having anything to do with his wife's disappearance and said he believes his wife ran off with another man.

Susan Powell was 28 when she was reported missing after she failed to show up for her stockbroker job.

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Josh Loftin can be reached at http://twitter.com/joshloftin.