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Foul play now suspected in disappearance of Eureka couple

Side by side photos of Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson, 17, and Riley Powell, 18.
Brelynne "Breezy" Otteson, 17, and Riley Powell, 18.
Composite photo, Tooele County Sheriff's Office

EUREKA, Juab County — The Juab County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday announced that "foul play is strongly suggested" in the disappearance of two people reported missing since Jan. 2.

Brelynne "Breezy" Otteson, 17, and Riley Powell, 18, were last seen embarking for a drive from Tooele to Eureka. On Thursday, following an extensive search effort, crews found the couple's missing blue Jeep Cherokee partially hidden in trees, about a mile south of Cherry Creek Reservoir, according to the sheriff's office.

Tuesday, sheriff's officials said that due to the "circumstances surrounding the recovery of the vehicle, its condition and general placement of the vehicle," they considered it "highly suspicious" and detectives now believed "the Jeep was dropped off there by intention and not by the two missing individuals, and foul play is strongly suggested."

Based on the new information, the search and rescue effort was suspended Tuesday, but the missing persons case remains active.

The couple started driving on Dec. 30 and had planned to stop in Spanish Fork before going home to Eureka, where the two live with Powell's grandfather. They were reported missing on Jan. 2. Family members say the two have older model cellphones that only work when connected to Wi-Fi.