Search for Susan Powell: Police Checking Shallow Grave

Missing Utah mother of two disappeared in December 2009.

Sept. 17, 2011— -- Searchers are back at the site of a shallow grave in the mountains of Utah, trying to determine whether it contains the remains of missing Utah mother Susan Powell.

No bones, tissue or definitive evidence related to Powell have been found in the grave site, which is near Topaz Mountain, said Sgt. Mike Powell of the West Valley City Police Department.

Since cadaver dogs identified the site, which is about 150 feet off a dirst road, the painstaking work of siffting through the soil has taken investigators about a foot deep, but they will continue to dig deeper, police officials said.

The search resumed today after being called off because of a rainstorm and heavy wind, Powell said.

"They're continuing on with the search efforts as we speak," Sgt. Powell said. "They started up again about 9 o'clock today, continuing with the ground search, involving the ATVs and also the specialized search dogs."

Susan Powell's father, Chuck Cox, was at the site today observing the efforts to find out what happened to his daughter, who has been missing since December 2009.

"He was somewhat emotional," Sgt. Powell said. "Obviously very difficult for him to have any type of involvement in particular to be somewhere there may be something developing."

There were about 40 people, including a team of trained searchers on horseback, involved in the effort today, according to police officials on the scene. They were searching a wide area along either side of roads near the site identified by the cadaver dogs.

Police said 11 different cadaver dogs have hit on the site so far, indicating there are human remains. A team of investigators was digging and sifting through the earth at the site today.

Because the state forensic anthropologist was not available to help today, West Valley City police had the head of their own crime scene unit on location, police said.

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.

"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 grave site Wednesday, police said.

Susan Powell, the West Valley City, Utah, mother of two, 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 interest 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.

ABC News Radio contributed to this report.