Police conclude Scotts Mills search for Susan Powell's remains - KPTV - FOX 12

Police conclude Scotts Mills search for Susan Powell's remains

Posted: Updated: May 16, 2013 07:28 AM
Investigators searched with cadaver dogs for the remains of Susan Powell, who was last seen in Utah in December 2009.// Photo: FOX13Now.com Investigators searched with cadaver dogs for the remains of Susan Powell, who was last seen in Utah in December 2009.// Photo: FOX13Now.com
When Susan Powell disappeared in December 2009, Josh Powell claimed he had taken his two sons camping late the night his wife disappeared. When Susan Powell disappeared in December 2009, Josh Powell claimed he had taken his two sons camping late the night his wife disappeared.
The Powell boys were killed after a child protective services worker brought them to the home for a supervised visit. The worker was blocked from entering, and the home then burst into flames. The Powell boys were killed after a child protective services worker brought them to the home for a supervised visit. The worker was blocked from entering, and the home then burst into flames.
Investigators at the scene in Marion County Wednesday Investigators at the scene in Marion County Wednesday
MARION COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

The search near Scotts Mills for Susan Powell's remains ended with nothing found Thursday.

Investigators returned Thursday morning for their third day at the rural property in Marion County, but then called a news conference and announced they were calling off the search.

Police searched the property on South Butte Creek Road with cadaver dogs this week, but a West Valley Police Department spokesman said no sign was found of Susan Powell, who was last seen in Utah in December 2009.

Powell's husband, Josh Powell, had been considered a person of interest in her disappearance. He killed himself, along with the couple's two children, in a gas-fueled inferno at a home in Pierce County, WA, in February 2012.

FOX 13 in Utah reports Susan Powell's father, Chuck Cox, joined investigators to observe the dig effort at the Oregon property surrounded by dense woods.

In an interview, Cox said he was tipped off to the property back in December when he received a phone call from a woman who wanted to remain anonymous.

"She made me aware of some property that would have been accessible through the family," he said.

The Oregon property is connected to Josh Powell's aunt and uncle on his father's side. According to the property's owner, Powell's relatives have not lived on the property for more than a year. The current renter told FOX 12 that he has no ties to the Powell or Cox families.

One neighbor told FOX 12 he saw several law enforcement agencies at the property on Tuesday.

"There was probably 8 or 10 automobiles that came in and left, and they were all newer automobiles," said neighbor Robert Perkey. "And the people that were in them, I waved at them, and they were very subdued."

Though Cox joined investigators at the Oregon property, he has since returned to his home in Seattle.

Police said the terrain on the property was very difficult to search. They were assisted by the Clackamas and Marion county sheriff's offices.

When Susan Powell disappeared in December 2009, Josh Powell claimed he had taken his two sons camping late the night his wife disappeared.

He later lost custody of the children, who were living with Susan Powell's parents. He was in a custody battle with her parents at the time of the children's murders.

A judge ruled the two boys would remain in the custody of her parents, but Josh Powell would get visitation rights. The judge also ruled Josh Powell would have to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation.

The boys were killed after a child protective services worker brought them to the home for a supervised visit. The worker was blocked from entering, and the home then burst into flames.

Although smoke inhalation was the primary cause of death for Josh Powell and his two sons, the boys also suffered "chop injuries" to their heads or necks, according to the Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office.

Josh Powell's father, Steven Powell, was convicted of voyeurism in May 2012 for recording images of two girls in a bathroom at a neighboring home in Puyallup. He was sentenced to more than two years in prison.

However, with credit for time served and good behavior, a department of corrections spokesman said Steven Powell is now scheduled to be released from prison within the next several weeks.

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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