WEST DESERT, Utah — After a decade of unanswered questions, volunteers joined another search effort for Susan Cox Powell on Saturday in the West Desert.
Volunteers found bones, even car carpet, but for Hailey Dearden and Jordyn Dark from Kaysville, they found something more.
Dearden and Dark found tire tracks that lead to the sole of two shoes, part of a belt and what they believed was human bones.
“If we found her, I really hope this provides some closure,” Dark said.
It’s been 10 years since Susan disappeared — Dark said she believes Susan’s husband, Josh Powell, murdered Susan in their house.
Out in the West Desert, volunteers believe Powell brought Susan’s body to the area, with her two children sitting in the back seat the whole time.
In 2012, Powell blew up his own house in Washington with both the children inside.
“To believe someone is capable of doing that is devastating,” Dearden said.
The case has since gone cold, but volunteers still feel connected to Susan and her boys.
“It’s not just a story, it’s not just a podcast, it’s not fiction. It’s actual real life,” Dark said.
Around 100 boots were on the ground, along with the Utah Search Dogs and riders on horseback, walking the terrain searching for signs of Susan.
The search was held by a private investigation agency; law enforcement and the family were not involved.
ALPINE — Two people who died in a helicopter crash Friday near Alpine posted pictures and a video of their flight from mid-air possibly just minutes before crashing.
The video, posted at approximately 10 a.m., shows a clear blue sky and fluffy white clouds underneath them, with a caption that reads, “Above the clouds .”
At one point during the video, the couple flips the camera around and shows their faces, smiling and having a good time.
FOX 13 has chosen at this time not to show that portion of the video or release the names of the two who died because there are still two young children who have not been told what happened. The family has requested privacy until they can tell the children about the crash.
The bodies of the two victims in yesterday’s helicopter crash above Alpine have been recovered and identified. We will not be releasing names until at least tomorrow morning, 5/19/19, after young family members have been notified.
— Spencer Cannon (@SGTCannonPIO) May 18, 2019
It’s unclear what time the video was taken or how long it was before the crash took place. It’s the last thing the couple posted online before the crash.
Although the weather looks clear, it became worse at the time of the crash, when the couple was on its way into South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan.
An employee with Roosevelt Municipal Airport said the weather was “pretty nasty,” and that he wasn’t sure why the two were flying in it.
It’s unclear if Friday’s weather was a factor in the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.
“It’s entirely possible it could have been weather related,” said Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. “We all saw the weather we had this afternoon.”
A pilot at South Valley Regional Airport said a woman and a young child showed up at the airport on Friday, asking whether the helicopter had landed safely. Employees helped her get in touch with the right people.
The wreckage of the four-seat Robinson R-44 helicopter was found Friday, about halfway between Schoolhouse Springs Trailhead and Lone Peak.
It normally takes about one year to determine a probable cause for an accident, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Cannon said the names of the victims will probably be released Sunday.
NORTH SALT LAKE — Police are asking for help identifying suspects who they say stole a generator from Access RV Saturday morning.
The North Salt Lake City Police Department shared photos from surveillance cameras of one of the suspects and the vehicle they used
Police ask anyone who recognizes the man or vehicle to call them at 801-298-6000.
Surveillance footage shows a man police suspect stole a generator from Access RV in North Salt Lake.
Surveillance footage shows a vehicle that police say suspects used in a theft at Access RV in North Salt Lake.
MIDVALE, Utah – A man was taken to the hospital Saturday morning after police said he barged into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment.
The Unified Police Department received a shots fired call at approximately 1:30 a.m. at 134 West Plum Tree Lane near 6900 South in Midvale.
Police said a woman, along with a man, was in the apartment when her ex-boyfriend began banging on the door outside.
When the woman opened the door her ex-boyfriend barged his way into the apartment, according to police.
Police said a struggle between the man in the apartment and the ex-boyfriend ensued.
During the struggle, the man reportedly shot the ex-boyfriend twice in the leg.
The ex-boyfriend was taken to Intermountain Medical Center where he is said to be in critical condition.
Unified Police are conducting an investigation into the incident, and said charges will later be determined by investigators and the District Attorney’s office.
LEHI, Utah — Several homes in Lehi flooded Thursday night, and with more rain in the forecast and a lot of expected runoff, it could just be the beginning.
The Steele family home was one of those affected as Dry Creek overflowed that night.
“It’s really sad to see all of it,” Kaylene Steele said as she stood in front of his now wrecked basement.
Her home was one of just two that had flooded during a storm Thursday night. She woke up to a call in the middle of the night from a neighbor and friend saying their houses had flooded.
“I was sick. I was sick,” she said recalling the moment she first saw the water in her basement, filled to the top of the staircase.
A friend of the Steele family shows how deep the water was in the family’s basement.
Kaylene captured a photo of a family friend who jumped in the water to start placing pumps, the water nearly to the top of her stomach.
The water was powerful enough to knock over their washing machine.
Everything that was in the basement “got washed into one room. It looks like a giant mess in there,” Kaylene said.
Friday afternoon, inches of water still rested at the bottom of the Steeles’ basement as a series of pumps and hoses worked relentlessly to clear it out. Sadly, some damage can’t be undone.
“It’s all of my husband’s special things,” said Kaylene describing her husband’s game room and the collection he had spent years building.
“We have our china hutch with all of my special china, my mom’s wedding china,” she said. “It’s all gone.”
Now, still wading in water, they feel like the city of Lehi is partially to blame.
“I don’t think the city has mitigated everything up there as well as they could have upstream of us,” Kaylene said.
The Steele family home sits directly next to Dry Creek, one of the two main waterways that flow through Lehi.
But the city said that’s not the case, and that they had crews working throughout the night.
“It was actually from the excessive rain we had,” said Lehi Street Director Wade Allred. “Ultimately, what we had last night was more of a debris issue.”
Allred said the problem comes about when there are spring showers or heavy mountain runoff. Debris is brought down and subsequently clogs the waterways, forcing levels to rise and the water to flow over.
Last year Lehi underwent about $1.5 million in improvements, increasing the size of culverts to allow for better flow. But that doesn’t solve the problem.
“If the water can’t get to the ditch, it doesn’t matter how big your ditch is,” Allred said.
With more rain and runoff still ahead, the city fears debris could be a big issue along the Waste Ditch and Dry Creek, potentially leaving hundreds of homes vulnerable to flooding.
“There’s potential to have disaster,” Allred said.
“We’ll have guys from six to ten, ten to two and two to four, ultimately just cleaning out more debris, more tree branches and it will be a full-time job for the next few weeks,” he added.
While the Steele family waits for things to dry out, Kaylene was thankful it wasn’t worse.
“It’s pretty disheartening, but it’s just stuff, you know?” she said. “That’s how we get through it. We just keep saying, ‘It’s just stuff.’ We have our people, our kids are healthy, the dog is fine.”
The Steele family has a fundraising page to help cover the costs of damages, which can be found HERE.
The city asks that residents stay vigilant, especially during peak water levels at night, and to call them if they see any issues or flooding. Residents can also receive sandbags from the city’s water department.
KAYSVILLE, Utah — A teenage girl is sharing her inspiring story of surviving a difficult diagnosis to mark a milestone she and her family didn’t know if she’d live to experience.
14-year-old Reagan Schellhase has had an unusual middle school experience. While most kids spend their young teen years attending school and hanging out with friends, she’s spent most of it confined to her house.
She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia two and a half years ago and completed coursework for Saint Joseph Catholic School from home.
But despite the illness, she’s kept on top of it.
On Friday, she got ready for graduation.
Donning a new dress and shoes, Reagan put on a light blue gown with help from her mother Angela Greenhalgh.
Stomach butterflies were flying high.
“I’m a little nervous,” Reagan said. “I’m excited to just be able to graduate.”
Reagan grabbed the cap, and she and her mom fiddled with the tassel.
“I probably won’t even cry… this time,” Angela said, with a smile.
One of the last times Angela cried was also for her daughter. It was when Reagan was diagnosed.
Since then, Reagan’s taken more than 1,800 pills, undergone 88 chemotherapy infusions, gone to 136 clinic appointments, had five bone surgeries and all for her one type of cancer.
Reagan and her mom sometimes wondered if Reagan would survive it all.
“A lot of times I was so sick, I just… couldn’t imagine myself making it this far,” she said.
The family pushed through, together. This week, Reagan is celebrating a milestone.
“I finished treatments,” Reagan said. “Last Friday was my last chemo infusion.”
On Wednesday, she took her last medication. The leukemia is in remission, and it comes just days before her 8th grade graduation.
“You’re just the most awesome kid, and I’m really proud of you,” Angela said, giving her daughter a kiss.
At Holy Family Catholic Church Friday evening, Reagan walked across the stage to accept her diploma.
Not only is she graduating — she’s doing so with high honors.
“She’s valedictorian of her class,” Angela said.
Even through it all, Reagan managed to keep up a perfect 4.0 GPA. She also received awards like the Freedom Leadership Award, the Spanish Award and honor tassels.
A perfect way to end 8th grade, and for mom, perfectly proud.
She’ll still have to undergo monthly tests to make sure her leukemia doesn’t relapse.
Reagan said she’s now ready for high school, and to fully regain her health.
“Support systems are there for you,” Reagan said her message is from all of this. “And, if you really try hard, you can push through anything.”
SALT LAKE CITY — Southbound traffic on Interstate 15 in Salt Lake City is heavily congested due to a semitrailer that jackknifed on the wet road near 700 South.
There is no estimated time of clearance, according to the Utah Highway Patrol, as the crash caused a fuel spill of up to 300 gallons. Utah Department of Transportation is bringing a sand truck to help with the fuel spill.
UHP troopers advise drivers to avoid the area and reduce speeds.
PROVO, Utah — A Lehi man has resigned from his position as a forensic technician amid allegations that he illegally removed prescription drugs from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office evidence facility in February.
Charges against Brian William Smith, 38, are expected to be filed in the next few days after an internal investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and a criminal investigation by the Spanish Fork Police Department.
According to a news release from UCSO, another employee with the Sheriff’s Office Forensic Unit discovered some drugs were missing from a drug disposal barrel and notified the Evidence Supervisor.
“After viewing surveillance video these employees learned that the drugs were taken by another employee, a Forensic Technician,” the news release said.
Smith resigned from his position with the forensic unit six days later, on February 28.
An audit of the evidence facility turned up 17 cases in which Smith accessed evidence scheduled for destruction without following proper procedures, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
“Evidence in all seventeen cases included prescription medications. Following the audit twelve cases with missing evidence were identified. Evidence in all twelve cases included prescription medications,” the news release said.
A full audit of the 34,000 pieces of evidence in UCSO’s evidence facility showed everything is accounted for, with the exception of the 12 cases of missing evidence and one case in 2013 in which evidence was inadvertently destroyed, according to UCSO. The audit also revealed several clerical errors, which the news release said were unrelated to the criminal investigation and have been corrected.
“The Utah County Sheriff’s Office has evaluated its evidence processing procedures and taken actions to mitigate the risk of this kind of thing happening again. Those actions include installing additional surveillance cameras to provide broader coverage in the Utah County Sheriff’s Office evidence facility,” the news release said.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Salt Lake City Police released body camera footage and other details Friday regarding a suspected shoplifter who died after an altercation with store employees.
Mischa Cox, 30, died earlier this month from injuries he suffered in the incident on May 2.
Police said Cox had stolen some items from an Ace Hardware store near 400 South and 600 East and was confronted by employees, who held the man down until police arrived and put him into handcuffs.
“The officers asked dispatch to send medical, and another officer who had arrived began administering chest compressions,” Capt. Jeff Kendrick of Salt Lake City Police said during Friday’s press conference. “Medical personnel arrived on scene, and the suspect was taken out of cuffs. The medical care was turned over to Gold Cross. Cox was transported to an area hospital, where he later died.”
The death was classified as an officer-involved critical incident because Cox was put into handcuffs before officers realized he was having serious medical issues.
Unified Police are investigating the incident, as Utah law requires all officer-involved critical incidents be investigated by an outside agency.
SALT LAKE CITY — Every member of Utah’s delegation in the House of Representatives said they support rights for members of the LGBTQ community, but just one of the four voted for the Equality Act that passed on Friday.
Fourth District Representative Ben McAdams, a Democrat, co-sponsored the legislation, saying it affords the same protections to LGBTQ Americans identical to other civil rights without placing any restrictions on religious practice.
Utah’s Republican representatives are concerned the bill doesn’t provide an exemption for non-church institutions that are controlled by religious organizations and have a largely religious mission.
Third District Representative John Curtis, whose district includes Brigham Young University, tried to change the bill with three amendments, all of them saying a religious school could exclude people who are not members of the religion or who do not adhere to its beliefs and practices.
Curtis’ proposed amendments all say religious schools cannot exclude someone because of their race, skin color, or national origin.
While the bill had some Republican votes, the Republican-controlled Senate is unlikely to consider the measure.