Tip leads group to search abandoned mines in Utah for Susan Cox Powell’s remains

A private team plans to search an abandoned mine in Utah after receiving new information in the disappearance of Susan Cox Powell, a Puyallup woman who went missing in 2009.

Investigators believe her husband, Josh Powell, might have killed her but never found evidence directly linking him to the crime.

On the December night Susan Cox Powell , 28, was last seen, Josh Powell told police he took their two young sons camping in freezing temperatures.

The mine is located a few miles from where he reportedly camped.

“It appears to not have been completely searched before,” Karra Porter, co-founder of the Utah Cold Case Coalition, told The Salt Lake Tribune. “We think it’s a likely spot to find her.”

The mine, along with about 400 others in Utah and Nevada, were searched after Susan Cox Powell’s disappearance but nothing was found.

A tip last month came in, prompting the coalition to organize another search of the mine and surrounding shafts.

Searchers will look into the mines over the next month or two.

Records detail Josh Powell talking about preventing the search of mines using debris and once mentioned a mine would be a good place to hide a body, Porter told KOMO News.

Susan Cox Powell was last seen on Dec. 6, 2009.

Her husband claimed she was at their West Valley home that night when he left on a camping trip with their sons Charlie, 4, and Braden, 2.

She was never seen again.

Josh Powell was the only person of interest ever named in the case, but he was never arrested.

He refused to cooperate with the investigation and moved his sons back to Puyallup to live with his father, Steven Powell.

When his father was arrested on suspicion of voyeurism and possession child pornography, Josh Powell ended up fighting for custody of Charlie and Braden with his wife’s parents.

On Feb. 5, 2012, Josh Powell shoved a social worker out the door when she brought the boys for a supervised visit. He had rigged the Graham rental house as a bomb and took a hatchet to both his sons before exploding the home.

All three died.

Steven Powell, who professed in great detail an obsession with his daughter-in-law, was the last person believed to have information about Susan Cox Powell’s disappearance. He died last year after being paroled on the voyeurism charges.

Follow more of our reporting on The disappearance of Susan Powell and the murder of her sons

See all 9 stories