Video: Body found in search for missing Utah mom

  1. Closed captioning of: Body found in search for missing Utah mom

    >>> we begin on this thursday morning with that new search for missing utah mother susan powell that turned up human remains . nbc's george lewis has the latest on this investigation. george, good morning.

    >> reporter: good morning, matt. they found those remains about 150 miles south of here in a remote desert area where susan powell 's husband, josh, says he took their two sons camping the day she disappeared. this latest chapter in the search for susan powell played out in an area favored by rock and gem collectors including powell's husband. investigators were in their second day of searching, using cadaver dogs trained to sniff out human remains . then wednesday afternoon the dogs found something.

    >> i was just informed a few moments ago that we have actually found human remains out here in this area.

    >> reporter: the big question, could they be the remains of susan powell ?

    >> right. at this point we don't want to jump to conclusions and say we've made any kind of positive identification because we have not.

    >> reporter: in washington, susan 's father, chuck cox, said he was told by police that the remains were found in a shallow grave.

    >> it raises our hopes to some degree. we have -- every day we live with the idea that the phone's going to ring and the police are going to tell us we've found susan or we found her body.

    >> reporter: but, he says, this is not the first time human remains have turned up in the search for susan . previous discoveries were the bones of other people. police have named susan 's husband, josh, as a person of interest, while he denies having anything to do with her disappearance. police say he has stopped cooperating with them. wednesday he had no comment about these latest developments. relations between his family and susan 's family have deteriorated, with both sides hurling accusations at each other.

    >> he may know something. if he knows something he needs to talk with the police . i think that would make their jobs a lot easier.

    >> reporter: forensic teams will assemble in the desert this morning to recover the remains and get them to a laboratory for testing.

    >> when we find human remains of any kind like that we will get ourselves a medical examiner to come out and take a look and help us. they can help identify the bones and all sorts of different things that we as law enforcement don't have knowledge of.

    >> reporter: now, in spite of finding those remains, police are continuing their search today. they won't say whether they are concentrating those efforts on areas josh powell frequented. matt?

    >> all right. george lewis for us on this story this morning. george, thank you very much. chuck and judy cox are susan powell 's parents. mr. and mrs. cox, good morning to both of you.

    >> good morning, matt.

    >> good morning.

    >> mr. cox, you know, you've been through these moments before over these last nearly two years where there seem to be dramatic developments in this investigation and they tend to fizzle out, so give me your reaction to this news.

    >> yeah. this is just another search area and they found some human remains and we are waiting on the police to do their investigation and the medical examiner.

    >> i would imagine, though, mr. cox, over these two years you've developed a certain gut feeling about some of these tips. what's your gut tell you about this?

    >> well, initially, i'm thinking this is a long ways for somebody to drive in the middle of the night and under conditions that -- with a blizzard coming in, so it wasn't very helpful. i just don't know what to think about it right now. i'm glad the police -- this is an area the police have decided to search, and that makes it different from the other finds of remains where, you know, people just discovered them, so that makes it more hopeful, but, still, it's a long ways from -- to drive in the middle of the night .

    >> mrs. cox, have the police told you two anything more about specifically why they are searching in this area? have they drawn somewhat of a perimeter around an area where josh told them he was that night?

    >> i believe the police said that they have always wanted to search this area. it was a place of interest because both josh and susan have been there with the boys. i believe at another time, a visit or maybe camping. i'm not sure. but they always wanted to look in this area.

    >> josh has been labeled a person of interest by the police and yet i guess the most current reports say that he is no longer cooperating with them, which i guess from legal perspectives might be understandable. do you have any contact with him these days and what are your feelings regarding him?

    >> no, we don't have any contact with him. i don't think he's ever cooperated with the police . in my opinion he hasn't. and what do i think? i think that he should expect that the police would be looking at him and he would -- he should be helping them to help find our daughter.

    >> and, mr. cox, you said something in george lewis ' spot that i want to ask you to explain a little. you said a discovery like this raises our hopes a little bit. it sounds as if you have already made the decision that susan is deceased, but you just want some kind of closure.

    >> it raises our hopes that we're going to have some kind of closure of what happened to her, but on the other hand, it also -- it takes away the hope that she is alive, so it's kind of both edges of the sword. i don't know where we go with that. it's just something we're living with.

    >> chuck and judy cox, our thoughts continue to be with you mr. and mrs. cox. i thank you for joining us this morning.

    >> thank you.

    >> thank you.

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