The father of missing Utah mother Susan Powell responded to the news that police have found remains in the desert which are “almost certainly human” by saying that it “doesn’t get our hopes up.”
Charles Cox said Wednesday that although investigators finding Susan alive would be ideal, the discovery of her body would at least bring some closure as to what happened to her. It is not yet known whether the remains discovered by police in the Utah desert belong to Powell, the mother of two from West Valley City, Utah.
“I’d rather they find her alive. But if they find her body. then at least we know she’s not with us anymore,” Cox said, adding that Wednesday’s discovery of human remains “doesn’t get our hopes up a lot.”
“At the same time, it could be the break. We live that every day. Every phone call we get could be the one that tells us we’ve found Susan,” he said.
Cadaver dogs that had been combing the fields around Topaz Mountain, near Delta, Utah, found the remains Wednesday, according to the report.
“It’s an area that they were looking at,” Cox said. “They wanted to search that area because it’s well-known for finding gems and things. We know that they had gone out and looked for gems at one time as a family. So, it’s just an area that they wanted to search.”
Police said the remains are almost certainly human, not animal, though gender or how long they have been there could not yet be determined, the report said. A medical examiner has been brought to the scene, police told ABC News Salt Lake City affiliate ABC4.
Speaking from his home in Washington, Cox expressed some doubt that the remains are his daughter.
“Too many times, people go out there with Cadaver dogs along those roads out there. So, it could be a pioneer, it could be who knows — anybody out there,” Cox said.
A reporter from the Salt Lake City Tribune tweeted that the West Valley Police, who are leading the investigation into Powell’s disappearance and death, are treating the area as a crime scene and are awaiting Juab County, Utah, sheriff’s officers to arrive to process the remains.
Powell disappeared in December 2009, while her husband, Josh Powell, allegedly took their children camping at midnight in a snow and rain storm. The campsite he told police he went to is 30 miles away from the desert where the remains were found.
Josh Powell has long been a person of suspect in the investigation, and police recently raided the home he and his father share in Washington. Prior to that, police had searched abandoned mines in Ely, Nevada, in connection to the case.
Josh Powell’s father Steven Powell has publicly theorized that his daughter-in-law disappeared with a man from St. George, Utah, who disappeared from a Christmas party abruptly the same night she vanished.
Cox alleges that Steven Powell made sexual advances towards his daughter, prompting her and the family to move to Utah to escape him.