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Josh Powell made 'admission of guilt' in wife's death, psychologist says

Father vows to keep looking for Susan Cox Powell

Published: Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:05 p.m. MDT

Chuck Cox, left, motions as he describes the search for his missing daughter as he stands with attorney Anne Bremner during a news conference Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Seattle. Bremner said Tuesday there's an ongoing federal investigation into Susan Powell's disappearance. She made the announcement at the Seattle news conference a day after local officials in Utah said they had closed their investigation into the Susan Powell case.

Elaine Thompson, Associated Press

WEST VALLEY CITY — Chuck Cox says the search for his daughter Susan Cox Powell is not over.

A day after West Valley police announced that all of their leads into the disappearance of the West Valley mother had been exhausted and the active search for her is finished barring any new information, Cox said Tuesday he plans to organize more searches to look for his daughter's remains.

"They are never going to quit. They are going to make sure they find Susan," attorney Anne Bremner said, standing next to Cox in her Seattle office building. "This family won't quit, because they can't."

Bremner also said an investigation from a Utah federal agency is still ongoing, although she did not know which agency. She believes the investigation is somehow tied to Steven Powell and what he may have known about his daughter-in-law's disappearance.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah said it and the FBI are no longer involved.

"The U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies in Utah have provided assistance to the West Valley City Police Department, at the police department’s request, at various times during the course of the investigation," the office said in a prepared statement. "If there are new developments in the case in the future … we would be willing to assist again. At this time, however, we do not have plans to conduct any further investigation.”

West Valley Deputy Police Chief Mike Powell, who also denied the existence of any independent federal investigation, passionately took issue with reports calling the Susan Powell case "closed," even though the city announced Monday that its "active investigation" is over.

"Our case is not closed. We have a very open investigation. It will remain open until we can find Susan and find out what has happened to her," said Powell, who is not related to the Powell family in question. "It's our investigation. The investigation is still open in all aspects. If we need further assistance from our federal law enforcement counterparts, absolutely we will continue to reach out to them."

On Monday, West Valley police released more than 2,000 files containing police reports, search warrants and maps of areas where they had conducted searches for Susan Powell. Cox said now that he had copies of those maps, he plans to study them and organize private searches.

Michael Powell

One area he believes will be scrutinized soon is near Pendleton, Ore., where Michael Powell — the brother of Susan Powell's husband Josh — allegedly had car problems while driving back to Washington from Utah just two weeks after Susan went missing. He sold his 1997 silver Ford Taurus to Lindell Salvage there for $100.

West Valley police did not find out about the sold car until August or September of 2011. At that point, Deputy Chief Phil Quinlan said Michael Powell became an elevated person of interest in the Susan Powell investigation.

"We interviewed Michael shortly after we discovered his car. We went back to interview Michael about his involvement in the case. During that interview he was extremely nervous, he was evasive, he provided incorrect information about the car — he didn't know we had the car, and we broke the news to him that we had his car. He lied to us about where it broke down," Quinlan said.

West Valley detectives traveled to Pendleton and found the car "had been stripped of some parts such as the right front passenger door, taillights, steering components etc.," a police report from September 2011 states. A cadaver dog was brought to the yard and "intensely searched the back portion of the vehicle and then indicated by a final result of sitting." The vehicle was sealed in plastic by police the next day and was towed to a holding facility. It was later processed by the forensics unit.

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