980 susan cox powell AP
Police searched a farm in rural Oregon outside Salem this week for the remains of Susan Cox Powell. The search came up empty. (AP Photo/File)

Oregon search fails to turn up Susan Cox-Powell's body

Authorities investigating the disappearance of Utah mother Susan Powell have spent two days this week searching a rural Oregon property for her remains, Powell's father said.

In an interview Wednesday night, Susan Powell's father, Chuck Cox, said that the first two days of searching didn't turn up any sign of his daughter.

"I'm disappointed," said Cox, who accompanied some of the search dogs on the hunt. "I just don't know where she is, but we'll keep looking for her."

Cox who lives in Puyallup told FOX 13 News in Salt Lake City he got a tip about the area in Marion County earlier this year and passed it on to West Valley City police. The property east of Salem, Ore., was in a remote area but reportedly has ties to the Powell family.

Authorities are expected to return to the area Thursday morning to wrap up the search.

Susan Cox Powell was last seen on December 6, 2009. Her husband Josh was considered a suspect in her disappearance but was never charged. He killed himself and his two young boys Feb. 5, 2013 by blowing up his Puyallup home after a social worker brought the boys over for a supervised visit. The boys had been living with Chuck Cox and his wife at the time.

Cox said Josh Powell spent a lot of time at the Oregon farm in Scotts Mills, before his death. Police wouldn't disclose any information about the tips that led them to the farm.

FOX 13 reported a number of cadaver dogs searched the property in the hunt for human remains.

"This could be a place where they could have dumped Susan's body," Cox said before the search concluded.

Josh Powell was never charged in his wife's disappearance, but unsealed documents say authorities found Susan Powell's blood on a floor next to a sofa that appeared to have been recently cleaned, with two fans set up to blow on it. Investigators also found life insurance policies on Susan Powell and determined that Josh Powell had filed paperwork to withdraw her retirement account money about 10 days after her disappearance.

Anne Bremner, an attorney for the Cox family, said the brother of Josh Powell had said in a deposition that he had driven to Oregon and abandoned a vehicle there. The brother, Michael Powell, committed suicide earlier this year.

Bremner said she's still interested in seeing more work at the property, including the possibility of having volunteers go to the site to help search.

A spokesman for the West Valley City police in Utah, which is handling the Powell investigation, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Cox said he appreciated that investigators spent time on the Oregon search, saying it showed a dedication and determination to find his daughter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com Reporter
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.
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