Possible Break in the Case of Missing Utah Mom Susan Powell

Authorities head to Nevada to search for Utah mother of two.

Aug. 18, 2011 — -- A new lead in the nearly two-year-old case of missing Utah mom Susan Powell has investigators scrambling to Nevada, where they say they have a fresh lead that might help solve the mysterious missing person's case.

"We have received some information, a tip, that we're going to be following up on, and it's information regarding Susan Powell," said Utah's West Valley City Police Sgt. Michael Powell, who is not related to the missing woman.

"We will be in Ely, Nev., tomorrow with a team of detectives," he said.

Sgt. Powell declined to say whether they believe the missing mother might be dead or alive, or comment on the nature of the tip.

Probe Into Susan Powell Disappearance Heads to Ely, Nev.

The Nevada town where investigators will soon be searching is nearly 250 miles southwest of where Susan Powell, then 28, was last seen on Dec. 6, 2009, at the West Valley City, Utah, home she shared with her husband Josh Powell and their two young sons, who were 2 and 4 at the time.

She was reported missing the next day.

Josh Powell, 34, is the only named person of interest in the case and has maintained that his wife left on her own. He has told authorities that he had been camping -- in the middle of a blizzard -- with the couple's sons the night his wife vanished.

In a November 2010 interview with the Salt Lake City Tribune, Josh Powell described his wife as being "extremely unstable" and said he feels her mental illness led to her disappearance.

Josh Powell has taken his kids to live with his father, Steven Powell, in Washington state since the disappearance.

A message left for Josh Powell's attorney, prominent criminal defense lawyer Scott Williams, was not immediately returned.

Steven Powell also spoke to the Tribune, saying that the curious wet spot found by police on the carpet in his son and daughter-in-laws home after her disappearance was from a clean-up that Susan Powell had done on a red stain that he said was "probably juice or something."

In an e-mail to ABC News last year, Steven Powell also attributed Susan Powell's disappearance to mental illness.

New Lead in Susan Powell Disappearance

"Clearly we think Susan decided to leave," Steven Powell wrote. "Susan had an occasional tendency to lose control ... much like her mother."

Susan's friends have previously denied this, saying that the couple would frequently argue and threaten each other with leaving.

"They would get in fights and talk about divorce and she would say: 'I'm going to take the kids,'" Susan Powell's close friend Kiirsi Hellewell said. "And he would say, 'No, over my dead body.'"

Susan's family, and even Josh's own sister Jennifer Graves, have said they feel that he and Steven Powell are covering up something regarding Susan Powell's disappearance.

"Has he kidnapped her, holding her somewhere? Has he killed her?" Graves asked in September. "Who knows?"

"The whole story is just ridiculous, they've made it up, they just want to make themselves look better, or less guilty I think I should say," Graves said.