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Cadaver dogs show interest in vehicle in search for missing Utah couple

Brelynne "Breezy" Otteson, 17, and Riley Powell, 18.
Brelynne "Breezy" Otteson, 17, and Riley Powell, 18, were planning to stop in Spanish Fork before going home to Eureka, where both teens live with Powell's grandfather, according to
Composite photo, Tooele County Sheriff's Office

LOFGREEN, Tooele County — A search of the property of the relatives of a missing Eureka man turned up some clues, but nothing that pointed definitively to the fate of the man or his girlfriend.

Riley Powell, 18, and Brelynne "Breezy" Otteson, 17, were officially reported missing Jan. 2 after embarking on a drive from Tooele to Eureka days earlier. On Jan. 11, Powell's missing Jeep was found partially hidden in trees, about a mile south of Cherry Creek Reservoir.

In a pair of search warrant affidavits unsealed earlier this week, it was revealed that on Jan. 15, Tooele County sheriff's deputies and deputies from the Sanpete/Juab Major Crimes Task Force went to the property where Powell's mother lives with her boyfriend, Riley Powell's grandmother and the grandmother's boyfriend.

A blue Chevy truck owned by the boyfriend of Powell's mother was searched. A witness had reported seeing a similar looking vehicle towing Powell's Jeep, the warrant states.

A camouflage tie down strap, identical to the one found in Powell's Jeep, was seized, according to investigators.

Two new search warrants unsealed Wednesday talk about the cadaver dogs that were used to search the Lofgreen property.

"We had the Rocky Mountain Rescue cadaver dogs help search the residence. According to their report, the dogs showed a lot of interest in (the boyfriend's) truck that was seen towing Riley’s jeep but were unable to pinpoint where the odor was coming from. We then impounded (the) blue Chevy as evidence," the warrant states.

All of the search warrants unsealed as of Wednesday characterize the boyfriend of Powell's mother as being uncooperative with police. One witness further told investigators that he "has been acting weird ever since law enforcement impounded his vehicle," the warrant states.

Powell's mother, boyfriend and Powell's grandmother went to Wendover while their property was searched, according to the affidavit. The mother was later admitted to University Hospital, the warrant says.

During a meeting with investigators and family members on Monday, the mother was present.

"There is suspicion of homicide, but it's not being treated as a homicide investigation yet because there's nothing to indicate there's been a homicide. But it's clear there's foul play," Amanda Hunt, Otteson's aunt, said after meeting with Juab County sheriff's investigators.

The sheriff's office has said foul play is suspected in the couple's disappearance based on evidence collected at the scene where the Jeep was found.

The search warrants were served on the cellphones of Powell, Otteson and Powell's mother to seek text messages and locations of the phones from Nov. 1 to Jan. 18, the warrant states.

A second warrant notes that Riley Powell and Breezy Otteson had multiple conversations on Facebook with people in the Juab and Tooele county areas, but "all conversations seem to end on the night of (Dec. 29) or the morning of (Dec. 30), 2017. I have not observed any further correspondence from either party since."