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Police believe body found in Laramie unlikely Susan Powell

By Jennifer Stagg | Posted - Sep. 14, 2010 at 5:52 p.m.

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

UPDATE:Sgt. Mike Powell with the West Valley City Police Department confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the body found is not that of Susan Powell. The Albany County Sheriff's Office in Wyoming said this was confirmed through dental records.


LARAMIE, Wyo. -- A sheepherder discovered the body of a woman just outside of Laramie, Wyo. The body is of special interest to investigators here in Utah as the description fits many of the characteristics of Susan Powell, the West Valley City mother of two who disappeared last December.

The body was found about 14 miles northeast of Laramie on Sept. 9 on a remote part of the Warren Livestock Ranch. Lt. Michael Garcia with the Albany County Sheriff's Office says the area where the body was found is not heavily traveled.

On the one hand, you hope for some degree of closure so you can know what happened to Susan. But on the other hand, that's a call that you don't really want to get.

–Shelby Gifford, Cox family spokesperson

The sheriff's office says the remains are of a Caucasian woman, who appears to be between 30 and 40 years old. She is about 5 feet, 2 inches tall with light brown hair. It appears she died sometime between last fall and early spring. They also said they do not believe the woman is from the area.

The description is similar to Susan Powell, who is about 5 feet 4 inches tall with light brown hair and is 28 years old.

Susan disappeared last December after her husband, Josh, told police he took their two young sons camping in the West Desert. He said his wife was gone when he came back.

Josh has been uncooperative with investigators and has since moved with his children to Washington state. He is also the only named person of interest in the case.

Susan's family is closely monitoring the case in Wyoming, as the body's description is closer to Susan's than any other body found since her disappearance.

"It's always a very unnerving experience," said Shelby Gifford, a spokeswoman for the Cox family, Susan's parents and relatives. "On the one hand, you hope for some degree of closure so you can know what happened to Susan. But on the other hand, that's a call that you don't really want to get."

The Cox family has been in contact with investigators, who told them it will likely be a few days before they can rule out whether the body is Susan's.

Garcia said, at this point, they can only say they have no idea who the woman is and are waiting for dental records, which could take two to six weeks to get. Once they have those, they hope to have solid leads on the case.

Meanwhile, West Valley City police Sgt. Mike Powell says his department is aware of the discovery and, as of Tuesday morning, the department had not been contacted by Wyoming authorities about the Susan Powell disappearance.

The woman isn't believed to have been reported missing from Laramie or Albany County.


Story compiled with contributions from Jennifer Stagg and Shara Park.


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