980 susan cox powell AP
Friends of Susan Powell gathered at the Salt Lake City Cemetery to remember the West Valley City woman and her two sons on the fourth anniversary of her disappearance. (AP)

Anniversary of Utah mom's disappearance marked

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Friends of Susan Powell gathered at the Salt Lake City Cemetery to remember the West Valley City woman and her two sons on the fourth anniversary of her disappearance.

Friends who bundled up for Friday night's vigil say they still seek answers about the mother, who was last seen alive at her home on Dec. 6, 2009. Her body has not been found.

Utah police focused their investigation into her disappearance on her husband, Josh Powell, until he killed himself and the couple's two sons in February 2012.

"We're never going to stop looking for (her), so every year we try to commemorate her disappearance and keep ... her memory in everybody's minds because she's still missing, and we really need to find her," Kiirsi Hellewell, her best friend, told the Deseret News.

Friday's vigil at the Christmas Box Angel statue in the cemetery is held every year on Dec. 6, the date of the child's death in the book "The Christmas Box" _ and the day Susan Powell went missing. One of more than 100 similar statues in 39 states, it's part of a nationwide movement to remember abused children.

Susan Powell's parents, Judy and Chuck Cox, attended a similar vigil near the Christmas Box Angel memorial at the Woodbine Cemetery in Puyallup, Wash., where her sons, Charlie and Braden, were buried.

The boys were remembered at the Salt Lake City vigil.

"Cute little boys. Typical little boys, mischievous, full of energy," friend Debbie Caldwell said.

While police have said Josh Powell was "definitely involved" in his wife's disappearance, he was never arrested or charged.

Hellewell said Susan Powell's parents have hired a private investigator and are still hoping to find her. Her best friend's story has helped people have the courage to escape abusive relationships before it's too late, she added.

___

Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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