(CBS) SALT LAKE CITY - Josh Powell, husband of missing Utah woman Susan Powell, allegedly bragged to friends that he knew the best place to dispose of a dead body during an office party a year before his wife disappeared.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Scott Hardman, who knew Powell because their wives worked together, recalls Powell saying that the best place to dispose of a body was a mine shaft.
Hardman said that he, Powell and one of their wives' co-workers were having a discussion about crime investigation shows at an office Christmas party in 2008 when Powell made the remark.
"We were discussing if you were to dispose of a body, how would you do it," Hardman said.
Hardman said he didn't know what he would do, but Powell, who was into the crime dramas, had an answer.
"He brought up that a mine shaft was the best," Hardman said. "He said that if you knocked a little [of a shaft] loose, it would all come tumbling down and no one would really want to travel down it because they are all so unsafe."
Powell added that abandoned mine shafts are all over Utah's West Desert, Hardman said.
Hardman said he didn't know what to think about Powell's comment at the time. "It seemed he was taking satisfaction in getting that out there," he said.
The Tribune reports that Hardman's recollections may have helped shape the West Valley City's Police Department's two publicly announced searches for the still-missing woman in Utah's West Desert.
Police have searched two abandoned mine areas in their search for Susan Powell, but there are believed to be around 15,000 to 20,000 across the state, the newspaper reported.
Josh Powell was listed as a person of interest in the case but never arrested in connection with Susan's disappearance. He killed himself and his two sons on Feb. 5, reportedly hacking the boys to death and then set the house he was renting on fire.
"He was the type of individual that I would visit with if I had to," Hardman said. "There was always something that didn't feel right about him."