SALT LAKE CITY — A private investigator working with the parents of missing West Valley woman Susan Cox Powell says a Utah company attempting to decrypt a hard drive belonging to the woman's husband suspected of killing her has made progress, but still has a long way to go.
Winquist Investigations is collaborating with Utah-based Decipher Forensics to try and gain access to a copy of one of Josh Powell’s hard drives. They started running software four years ago and just recently managed to break through the first of two levels of encryption.
However, private investigator Rose Winquist said they are in need of more resources to devote to the effort. They are now reaching out to Amazon, hoping the internet giant could use its cloud computing platform to speed up the process.
"We are hoping to find Susan and possibly get others charged with an accessory to her murder. The cloud is our only hope," Winquist posted on Facebook.
Winquist said Josh Powell used software called True Crypt on the drive in question. She concedes there might not be any information on the drive related to Susan Powell’s disappearance or her presumed murder, but contends it is important to make every effort to eliminate possible leads.8 comments on this story
A West Valley police spokeswoman said the department would be interested in any items of evidentiary value learned if the decryption process is successful. Police seized a large number of computer hard drives during searches of both Josh Powell’s West Valley City home in 2009 and his father’s house in Puyallup, Washington, in 2011.
Susan Powell went missing in December of 2009 and is believed to have been murdered by her husband. Her body, however, has never been found and Josh Powell was never arrested or charged. Josh Powell later killed himself and the couple's two young sons.