Bones found in Utah mine not those of Susan Powell, her father says

Susan Cox Powell with sons Braden and Charlie. Photo: Susan Cox Powell Foundation

PUYALLUP, Washington, Feb. 24, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Chuck Cox announced on Thursday that weathered bones found deep in Utah’s Ironside mine were not those of his daughter, Susan Cox Powell.

“The bones were found to be non-human,” Cox said, in a statement on the Susan Cox Powell Foundation website. “The pants had male DNA on them. We are trying find identify the male.”

Some remaining material had not yet been processed, Cox’s statement says.

“There was a sock and a piece of a blouse material that was not submitted to testing, but we have asked that they be tested. The next step would be to go back to the mine and screen the material removed from from the mine to determine if there are any smaller bone fragments or evidence, with the aid of cadaver dogs. Also, to check other openings near the mine.”

Cox said last week that he was “cautiously optimistic” that DNA tests on bones recovered would prove they were those of his daughter.

Susan’s story

Susan Cox Powell was 28 when she went missing from the West Valley City home she shared with husband Josh Powell in December 2009. Prior to her disappearance, she had reportedly told friends to check into her husband if she happened to disappear.

Police reported Josh Powell was uncooperative with investigators.

In February of 2012, Josh Powell, by then living in Puyallup, Washington, grabbed his sons from a social worker delivering them for a supervised visit, then locked the door.

According to reports, he used an ax to strike his sons, Braden, 5, and Charlie, 7, before before igniting a pre-spread and burning the house to the ground in a murder-suicide.

The site of Susan’s remains is still unknown.

WVCPD investigation

West Valley City Police Department closed the active investigation into Susan Powell’s disappearance in 2013.

WVCPD spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku talked to Gephardt Daily earlier this month about the recent mine search. She made her comments prior to the announcement that possible evidence had been found.

“The efforts to search this mine are occurring in an area overseen by another police jurisdiction,” Vainuku said. “We have never been contacted by the searchers.

“The way it would work is that if someone recovered evidence they believed was connected to a crime, whether that is the Susan Powell case or any crime, they should contact the police in the local jurisdiction and turn over that evidence for investigation.

“If those investigators determine that evidence is connected to a crime, in this case, the Susan Powell disappearance, we would be contacted and would become involved.

Susan Powell’s case is now classified as a “cold,” Vainuku said.

“As far as the status of the case, the case is ‘cold’ meaning that all leads have been exhausted. That said, if credible evidence were to surface, we would investigate it immediately.”

Vainuku also noted the mine in question had been searched multiple times by the WVCPD.

Moving forward

Chuck Cox said the search will continue.

“It is my belief, based on Josh’s murder of his boys that he would be very capable of dismembering Susan and dispersing parts in several locations,” Cox’s statement says.

“The search goes on. This effort also has resulted in numerous agencies now determined to work together sharing resources and information with a renewed goal to find Susan.”

Cox also thanked those who helped with the recent search.

“I am so thankful for all the work of the Dave Sparks and the Diesel Brothers team, and all those that are stepping up and offering their help.”

Cox also recommended three videos the Diesel Brothers posted on YouTube about the mine search. See them below.




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