Top stories of 2009, Extra: The search for Susan Powell

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The case of a missing West Valley City mom has frustrated investigators and mesmerized the public. More than three weeks after her disappearance, there is still no sign of Susan Powell.

She vanished at the end of 2009, after the KSL News staff had named its top stories for the year. But we thought the "Search for Susan" should surely make the list.

Her picture has been shown across the country: the brunette mother of two with bright blue eyes and a beaming smile. Still, no one seems to be able to answer the question "Where is Susan Powell?"

Her husband, Josh Powell, has shunned the spotlight, telling police he doesn't know where she is. But his bizarre behavior, and hole-filled story of a camping trip at midnight Sunday, Dec. 6, with his two young sons in the west desert during a snowstorm has positioned him as law enforcement's sole person of interest.

Officers have searched the Powell home and interviewed dozens of neighbors, friends and family members, but no arrest.

Josh Powell has now hired an attorney and abandoned his home, taking his children to Washington state to be with family.

"It's tough. You don't know," said Susan Powell's father, Chuck Cox. "They're grown, married; they're on their own, but it's still your daughter."

Cox said the pain over his daughter's mysterious disappearance gets worse every day. He flew to Utah shortly after she went missing, hoping to get some answers from his son-in-law, but said Josh Powell has not been forthcoming.

"I can't give up hope," Cox said.

Even Josh Powell's own sister and brother-in-law have publicly urged him to tell investigators what he knows.

"It makes me sad that he won't speak up more on behalf of his wife," his sister, Jennifer Graves, said. "We need to find her."

Susan Powell's friends, neighbors, and even strangers have held vigils, prayer services and organized a Facebook page in hopes of she'll be found and will come home soon.

"Where is she? Where is my daughter? Where could she be? When will something break? We're hopeful, Cox said.

Josh Powell remains in Washington State with his children, and police say he is not considered a suspect.

Susan Powell's friends from Facebook are organizing a social media blitz for Monday, hoping to spread Susan's picture and information across the web.

There is a $10,000 reward being offered for new leads in the case. If anyone has any information on Susan Powell's whereabouts, they're asked to call the West Valley City Police Department at 801-840-4000.


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