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Vigil planned for Susan Powell



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WEST VALLEY CITY -- Friends and family of Susan Powell, the West Valley City mother of two who has been missing since Dec. 7, plan to hold a prayer and candlelight vigil Sunday night.

Organizers of the vigil say keeping Susan's name and story out in the public eye is key to solving this mystery. They're doing that through the media, but also through social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

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"Having some background with a friend who was missing several months, I know what it's like to have people speculate and make accusations," says James Hofheins, co-administrator of The Family and Friends of Susan Powell Facebook page.

The Facebook page has more than 7,100 members; Hofheins suspects many more check it for updates.

"It's really the future of finding the missing," he says.

Hofheins not only monitors the discussion boards for negative comments, the goal is to keep everyone on finding Susan. He can also e-mail missing persons fliers to hundreds, even thousands of people from his kitchen table. In turn, he asks those people to forward on the posters to at least three people.

He is also in charge of tweeting the latest updates. It's a massive search operation run from a kitchen table.

"It's going to be one of those small and simple things that's going to help us find Susan," Hofheins says.

On Saturday evening, the message was about a prayer and candlelight vigil scheduled for Sunday night at 8:30 for Susan. Already messages are pouring in.

A woman named Kate writes: "We will be praying with you… in Sydney Australia."

Susan in New Mexico promises: "We will light a candle and offer prayer for Susan's return."

"I'm hearing a lot of ‘This has been breaking my heart.' I'm hearing of people who, like me, don't personally know the Powells but are losing sleep. They're checking the Facebook page every hour to see if there's any positive update," Hofheins said.

Chuck Cox, Susan Powell's father, writes often. One posting says: "Please continue to remember her in your prayers, pass on any info to the police, but have a Merry Christmas." It's a simple wish to thousands of new friends.

The vigil is scheduled for Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at the LDS Church building at 3665 S. 6000 West in West Valley City, in the park area behind the church.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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Sarah Dallof

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