Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Finding Powell’s remains will be more bitter than sweet

Post by Brian O'Neill on Sep. 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm with No Comments »
September 16, 2011 8:16 pm

Family and friends of Susan Cox Powell have waited almost two years for some word, any word on the disappearance of this young mother from her home in West Valley City, Utah.

Now they have a word. Bones.

Investigators at West Valley City P.D., who first explored the rugged mine shafts dotted throughout an eastern Nevada scrubland, have finally come across a possible link to Cox Powell’s disappearance in the desert near Delta, Utah. According to the Trib article (9/14), human remains were found in one of these shafts. Could it be Susan Cox Powell?

We won’t have to wait very long for the what if’s to be answered. The Trib reported just this morning that the bureacratic step of an examination by a federal anthropologist is complete, and the remains are not historical. This paves the way for the bones to be transferred to the county medical examiner’s office. The M.E. has the responsibility to answer many questions to include the identity of the deceased and the manner of death.

The responsibility for the site where the remains were found is still in the hands of Cox Powell’s investigative team. With all of the science of CSI (minus the fiction), and even a few methods not readily accessible to prime time TV cops, there just might be a piece of evidence that directly ties the potential crime scene to the killer.

But at least we have come to this point in the case, and its progress is due to the first class investigation conducted by the detectives and federal agents assigned. This group has kept up a constant drumbeat, keeping Cox Powell’s name and face in the media, ferreting out witnesses for the scant tips with any value, maintaining pressure on persons of interest and staying the course in search of evidence that bears easy comparison to a needle in a haystack.

All of this forward motion has been accomplished despite a fair amount of drag. Two uncooperative witnesses/persons of interest in the form of Steven and Joshua Powell. An investigation spanning several states that sucks up vital equipment and personnel for a lengthy period. A forensic search area measured in square miles.

But the end result may soon justify all the efforts and expenses. Whether those bones discovered in some long-forgotten mine shaft in the Utah desert actually belong to Susan Cox Powell is a question awaited by her family, friends and a growing number of concerned people following this disturbing event.

Finding the answers to her disappearance is, for most of those involved in this investigation, the best way of recognizing her as a person. Not just a victim.

Those remains are either those of Susan Cox Powell or someone else. No matter how hard it has been to answer that question, the truth will hurt.

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