2 bodies discovered in abandoned Utah mine; likely missing teens

Utah

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EUREKA, Juab County — Two bodies were discovered in an abandoned mine near Eureka Wednesday.

Utah County sheriff’s officials are recovering what they believe are the bodies of Riley Powell, 18, and his girlfriend, Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson, 17, from the Tintic Standard Mine after a three-month long search for the couple, according to Utah County sheriff spokesman Spencer Cannon.

KSL.com reports the couple disappeared en route from Tooele to Eureka on Dec. 30 and were reported missing a few days later.

The reason for their disappearance is still unknown. Officials located a Jeep near Cherry Creek Reservoir in Juab County Jan. 11 that they say was driven by the two teenagers. They did not, however, find any sign of the couple.

Foul play is “strongly suggested,” authorities said. Juab County Sheriff Douglas Anderson said the circumstances surrounding the recovery of the vehicle, including its condition and placement, were “highly suspicious.”

“The rear passenger tire had a puncture in the side wall that appeared to be straight in with a smaller flat shaped object. The front passenger tire had two punctures identical to the rear tire. There was no tear in the sidewall that would indicate that the tires were moving when punctured,” a warrant in the case states.

Another warrant unsealed in February says investigators are seeking evidence in a possible homicide.

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.

Deputies and cadaver dogs searched a blue Chevy truck owned by the boyfriend of Powell’s mother. A witness had reported seeing a similar-looking vehicle towing Powell’s Jeep Jan. 2, according to the warrant.

“The dogs showed a lot of interest in the truck that was seen towing Riley’s jeep but were unable to pinpoint where the odor was coming from. We then impounded (the car) as evidence,” the warrant states.

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

Further details about the search are not yet available.

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