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Susan Cox Powell has now been missing for 275 days.  Yesterday’s excellent story by Good Morning America sparked a resurgence of media interest, both locally and in Washington.  Here’s a rundown of the stories, articles and videos  from  Tuesday, September 7, the nine-month anniversary of Susan’s disappearance:

 Good Morning America’s report

Another clip of the GMA report, from Puyallup, Washington’s KOMO news

Local Utah station KSL’s interview with Jennifer and Kirk Graves

Local Utah station ABC-4 TV’s article

Isabelle Zehnder of Examiner.com’s article,  “Nine Months”—focusing on Steve Powell’s e-mailed remarks to ABC

Also, yesterday, news broke that a woman’s body was found in a shallow grave in Cle Elum, Washington.  The local sheriff’s team and some archaeologists are excavating the body.  We hope for updates as work progresses.

On the Friends and Family of Susan Powell Facebook group, emotions were high as those who knew Susan—and those who didn’t, but have come to love her as they follow this case—expressed feelings of anger, grief,  and sadness as well as hope, prayers, and faith. 

If you are on Twitter, follow @FindSusan for updates on any news we get.

SusanPowell FB profile flier

PLEASE keep spreading the word of Susan—someone, somewhere knows something…has seen something…can help the police solve this case and find Susan.  If you have any information that might help police, please call the West Valley City Police Department at 801-840-4000.

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With the warmer weather comes the inevitable—more and more bodies are being found in the Salt Lake valley and surrounding areas.

Every time we get one of these reports, our hearts drop.  We teeter on the brink of wild emotions—hope that it’s not Susan, hope that it is.  We want her to be alive but we also want her found and if she is no longer with us, we need to find her and catch those responsible.

A body was discovered by a worker at a potash plant near Wendover last Tuesday.  Yesterday, another body was found in Red Butte Creek near the University of Utah campus.  Crews were working to clean up the Chevron oil spill and found the body in some debris.  You can read the local media stories here: KSL, ABC-4, KUTV2, FOX13, the Salt Lake Tribune, and the Deseret News.

[UPDATE June 22: The Red Butte Creek body has been identified.  We are still waiting for word on the one discovered by the potash plant.]

Shelby Gifford, the Cox family spokesperson, posted this statement last night on the Friends and Family of Susan Powell Facebook group:

On behalf of the Cox family, thank you for your kind words of love and support on this very difficult Father’s Day. Like you, we’ve become aware of an unidentified body found in Red Butte Creek in Utah today. We have been in touch with investigators and have been assured that they will notify us once a determination has been made regarding the gender and age of the body. We will let you know what we find out as soon as we can. Thanks again for your concern for this wonderful family. We are grateful for you.

Chuck Cox, Susan’s father, had this to say late last night:

It has been a very hard day for me, personally. Every family I see, with young women headed for college or a young mother seemed to bring me a wave of grief. It is very hard to explain, I pray Susan is still alive. It helps to know that many people support her and her family. It is so sad that in just a few days, 2 bodies have been discovered. Every body found that isn’t Susan leaves the possibility that she is alive and will return. But it means some other family has lost a loved one. I know that Heavenly Father will answer our prayers. Thank you all for your support.

On Thursday a billboard went up in Salt Lake City.  It is located on highway 201, and you can see it if you are heading east-bound, just east of the 8000 West stoplight near Magna and West Valley City.

 
Photo: courtesy Glenda Ryser

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Though there hasn’t been a lot of news or progress on Susan’s case lately, several articles and bits of news have recently surfaced:

* A new article in People magazine came out last week highlighting Susan and her story (the June 7 issue…story on page 90).  More details about this article here.

* Josh Powell’s website, susanpowell.org, unveiled three new sub-pages in the last three weeks: “Volcano Week,” “Mother’s Day” and “Six Months.”  These pages have caused an uproar as people all over the world universally despise their content.

* On the positive side, a kind woman halfway across the world from where Susan lived started a Virtual Postcard campaign.  This is for anyone, anywhere in the world to send a comment to Susan, her family, her sons, or Josh.  Please consider visiting this site and leaving a comment in support of Susan. 

* A blogger posts some astute observations on Josh’s actions and website, here and here.

* Local Salt Lake City media stations are doing stories this week about the fast-approaching 6-month mark of Susan’s disappearance.  Stories aired today on KSL and ABC-4.

Susan Cox Powell Photo by Hardman Photography; flowers and photo arrangement by Quail Feathers; lyrics by Susan’s favorite artist, Michael McLean

Susan is still missing.  Her family and friends greatly appreciate every prayer, kind thought, and search effort people have done and are doing.  We know she will be found and justice will be served.

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Today it’s been 5 months since Susan Cox Powell disappeared from her home under very suspicious circumstances.

If you’re new to this story, you can find details on the case in thousands of articles, videos, and websites scattered across the internet.  Some good places to look are this website dedicated to finding Susan, the many excellent articles written by Examiner.com’s Isabelle Zehnder since the beginning, the 800 links in the archive of the Friends and Family of Susan Powell Facebook group, and local Salt Lake City media outlets like KSL5, ABC4, KUTV2, FOX13, the Salt Lake Tribune, and the Deseret News.

There hasn’t been a whole lot in the news the past few weeks, but a few days ago an Idaho discovery had a lot of people talking and wondering if it could be Susan.  It wasn’t, but our hearts go out to the family of Stephanie Eldridge

On Tuesday afternoon, Isabelle Zehnder with Examiner.com broke the exclusive story of a gag order on the West Valley City police department.  You can read about the reaction of Susan’s parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, here.

Nothing spectacular has been officially planned to mark the 5-month anniversary of Susan’s disappearance today, but many people across the world are planning to light candles in their homes and on their front porches.  You can also light a “virtual candle” here, as well—candles burn for 48 hours and you can come back and light as many as you want. 

Patty on Facebook, someone who never met Susan or her family but has been a faithful supporter for months now, said this:

“I will put mine out on the porch right now. May I ask everyone to pray at High Noon tomorrow, so we can all be praying at the same time? I love this family so much.”

Photos by Amber Hardman, Allison St. Louis, and Kiirsi Hellewell; scrapbooking by Briana Horne

Susan’s friends and family are very grateful to Susan’s past and present friends, the many thousands that have supported and encouraged us with their love and prayers, all the people who have tirelessly searched for her, and especially to the West Valley Police Department for their unrelenting hard work and dedication to finding Susan.  We believe Susan will be found—hopefully before too many more of these anniversaries pass.

Photo and art by Amber Hardman, Hardman Photography

WE LOVE YOU, SUSAN.

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Witnessing the first public large-scale ground search for Susan Cox Powell in the west desert last Saturday was an amazing experience.  Here’s the rundown of news—articles, pictures, and video clips from Saturday’s search:

KUTV-2 news—reporter Chris Jones was at the search.

Brent Hunsaker with ABC-4 was also there.

Here’s KSL-5’s excellent video, picture gallery and article from Alex Cabrero.

Click here for FOX-13’s report.

Local newspapers the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News have their accounts and photo galleries as well (note: the Deseret News article has a couple of inaccuracies).

Apr10 para ATV

Powered parachute over the waiting ATVs at Simpson Springs

As always, Isabelle Zehnder with Examiner.com has written several really good articles about the search, with picture slideshows and information not shown anywhere else.  Her articles:

Search—initial search report and first pictures

Search—report of 2 search dog findings

Search—leaders of the search share thoughts, details, and pictures

Search—this article discusses how the search had a positive outcome, even though it didn’t find Susan.

The desert search wasn’t the only Saturday activity that made the news.  In Washington, Chuck and Judy Cox were finally allowed to see their grandchildren—Susan’s boys, Charlie and Braden.  Josh Powell agreed to let Susan’s parents go to a local park and visit with the boys there.  You can read Brent Hunsaker of ABC-4’s thoughts on this visit, here.

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The group of Cache County people who organized the upcoming Simpson Springs ground search for Susan on April 10 have closed the search to the public.

Here is the group’s press release:

April 10 Ground search effort for Susan Cox Powell
Contact:
Jon Watkins, Chief of Bridgerland Fire Company
bridgelandfire@hotmail.com

Cache County, Utah (April 2, 2010) – The outpouring of support from the public and from professionals for the April 10 ground search for clues into Susan Cox Powell’s disappearance has been greatly appreciated. While appreciative of the search efforts, the Susan Cox Powell Foundation, her family and her friends, are not affiliated with the search.

Organizers of the search have also received an overwhelming response from trained professionals with offers to help. Some are experienced search and rescue teams while others have firefighting, medical, law enforcement, and military experience.

All of those professionals who have come forward to volunteer their time, equipment, and expertise would not pass up the opportunity to help a fellow citizen. Tooele County Sheriff’s Department and West Valley City Police Department, among others, have expressed concerns in regard to a large-scale volunteer ground search in the West Desert. Among concerns raised are safety, logistical, liability issues, the possible destruction of evidence, searchers becoming lost or injured, searchers encountering wildlife, parking issues, spotty cell phone reception, and no medical facility within 50 miles, among other concerns.

The liability issue raised concerns for everyone involved and prompted search organizers to re-evaluate and eventually cede command of the search to qualified professionals. In response to those concerns the April 10 search for Susan Powell will now be conducted by a group of certified and trained professionals capable of carrying out a sophisticated search.

It has been determined that a smaller, more manageable search would be safer and more effective. For this reason we are no longer asking for the support of the general public in the ground search. We regret that the search is now closed to the public. We are very appreciative of everyone who has shown their willingness to help and hope they continue to show their support in what is best for finding Susan.

Only professionally certified organizations with proper identification and pre-approval from the search organizers will be allowed to participate in the search. It is our hope that a skilled approach to searching will bring quicker results and will encourage other professionals to consider assisting in the search.

If your certified organization would like to help with the search, please e-mail the Incident Commander, Jon Watkins at bridgerlandfire@hotmail.com. Those who would like to donate resources or money to the qualified professionals now conducting the search, may e-mail us at searchdonations@hotmail.com.

We are very appreciative of everyone who has shown their willingness to help. We ask that you keep Susan, her family, and the many trained professionals who will be combing the on April 10 in your thoughts and prayers.

——END——

Reactions to this news are mixed.  Brent Hunsaker of ABC-4 wrote an excellent article about the difficulties and feelings surrounding this search. 

Good tips have come in the past through things like the social media blitz the first week of January and other avenues.  Here’s some alternatives for the general public on April 10.

As always, Susan’s family and many friends are so grateful and thankful for every prayer, kind thought, and deed for Susan or her family.   

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A kind group of people in northern Utah—who don’t know Susan or her family—decided that they wanted to do something to help find Susan.  They’re in the process of organizing their own ground search for clues to Susan’s disappearance. 

This search will take place on Saturday, April 10, in the Simpson Springs area of the Pony Express trail.  This is the place that Susan’s husband, Josh Powell, said that he went camping with their two small boys the night Susan disappeared on Dec. 6, 2009.

Though this ground search effort is not organized or sponsored by either Susan’s family or the West Valley City Police, many people have responded with wonderful offers of help, support, and teams to help with the search.  The incredible outpouring of love and offers of help have touched many lives, including my own.  There are so many good people in this world.

Here are some links to websites, news stories and video clips about this upcoming search:

ABC-4’s report on local crews volunteering for the search

Deseret News article about the search

Examiner.com article by Isabelle Zehnder

ABC-4 report: the police’s view of the search

Salt Lake Tribune article about the search

Examiner.com article with police comments about the search

Fox13 Video clip on the search

KSL’s report on the search effort

If you’re on Facebook, you can access more search information at this group: Friends and Family of Susan Powell.  The organizers of this search are still putting together search information and details and I will post it here when it’s available, for those who aren’t on Facebook.

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