Susan Cox Powell: Police continue to searching Topaz Mountain

Lt. Bill Merritt

I don’t think I have ever seen so many officials looking for a missing person after the MP has been missing for such a long time, but the West Valley police are back in Utah’s mountain desert looking for Susan Cox Powell.

100 officers including some on horseback and ATV’s and a team of dogs are continuing their search after the “shallow grave” the dogs alerted on last week turned out to have nothing but charred wood.

My speculation is that the police are focusing on the Topaz Mountain area, because Josh Powell, Susan’s husband, liked to go and do rock-hounding there at it is about 30 miles south of where Josh and his children went camping at the Pony Express Trail the night Susan disappeared, but they could have searched in that area years ago, so why now.  Could it be that Josh told them that Susan was in that area, but after two years, he can’t remember exactly where, so the police are left to comb the mountain?

Police Lt. Bill Merritt estimates they have covered 50 square miles over the last eight days. 

“If we had just kept to our group of 10, we’d probably be out here for about three weeks, but with all the help, what we’ve been able to do has been really amazing,” said Merritt.

I can only guess what might be driving the police chief to keep searching for Susan.  There have been other media driven cases that have garnished lots of attention in the first months of the person going missing, but most loose steam after that. 

Merritt’s determination to close the case once and for all and find Susan, has to be commended.   I can only hope that other police agencies notice what he and his team are doing to bring closure, and note that it is the human and right thing to do.

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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

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