Investigators sifting dirt for clues at site of Susan Cox Powell investigation

Search called off until Saturday because of rain

Published: Friday, Sept. 16 2011 5:29 p.m. MDT

"We need that trained eye to come out and confirm that what we're looking at isn't anything," Merritt said. "We don't believe it is, we just want to confirm it isn't. And they have the eye and the knowledge to be able to sift through it probably 15, 20 times faster that what you or I could do." 

Although no actual remains have yet been found, Merritt said because at least seven cadaver dogs have all made positive "hits" on the area, that prompts detectives to say they continue to be "confident there are some type of human remains in the soil."

Cox said as long as he didn't get in the way, he wants to stay in the area of the dig until it is over. He said the fact he traveled from his home in Puyallup, Wash., only to, so far, see a pile a dirt did not give him false hope.

"It's just another part of the investigation," he said. "Everyday is hard on us. I will stay here until we're confident this area has been adequately searched."

Even though it's difficult to wait and wonder what happened to his daughter, Cox said he has no option but to keep looking for some concrete answers, no matter how painful.

"You have no choice. As many of the people with missing children know, you can't leave your house. You don't move in case they come back. You have no choice. You have to keep going."

Even still, he said he prepared himself for the wait. 

"I've always known this is going to take a lot longer than people are going to give it credit for," Cox said. "If you let emotion take over, you go off the wrong direction."

Susan Powell, a 28-year-old mother of two, has been missing since Dec. 6, 2009. The night before she was reported missing, her husband, Josh Powell, said he took their two young children camping in single-digit temperatures in a remote part of Tooele County in the middle of the night. When he returned a day and a half later, he said his wife was gone.

Topaz Mountain is less than 30 miles from Simpson Springs, the area where Josh Powell told investigators he went camping that night. Josh Powell has been named a person of interest in the case because West Valley police say he has been very uncooperative.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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