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Break in case of Utah mom missing 20 months?

Updated at 12:12 p.m. ET

Utah police launched a search of the remote mountain desert around Ely, Nev., on Friday in hopes of finding a Utah mother missing since 2009.

Susan Cox Powell was last seen at her West Valley City home on Dec. 6, 2009.

West Valley City police Sgt. Mike Powell says the search is based on new, credible information obtained by investigators.

Police haven't detailed the scope of the search or said what specifically they are looking for.

Susan Cox Powell was 28 and the mother of boys ages 2 and 4 when she was reported missing.

Joshua Powell says he last saw his wife before he left for an after-dark camping trip with the boys on Dec. 7 in below-freezing temperatures.

CBS News Correspondent Priya David Clemens reports that, from that first day almost two years ago, Susan Powell's friends and family have pointed the finger squarely at Josh.

Josh Powell said back in December, 2009, "I didn't do anything, I mean, I don't know where she's at. I don't even know where to start looking."

Police in West Valley, Utah, who have called Powell "a person of interest" in the case, have been blunt.

Capt. Tom McLachlan, of the West Valley City Police Department said in Dec. 2010, "Right now, Josh really is our only person of interest. He was the last one to see Susan."

They may be suspicious of Josh Powell, but he's never been named a suspect, and since his wife's disappearance, he has had custody of the couple's kids and moved with them to Washington State. In 20 months, there have been no arrests, no leads, and no evidence had surfaced until word came of Friday's search.

Investigators are saying little about the tip that lead them to Nevada. But on Thursday, Josh Powell offered his take, saying, "I couldn't be happier to see this break in the case. I think more of the truth needs to come out there - more about Susan, and possibly even more about our family."

As for Susan's father, Chuck Cox says any news is positive news.

"We don't think she's coming back," he said, "But we have hope that she's coming back."

On "The Early Show" Judy Cox, Susan Powell's mother, called the years of searching for answers "a long struggle."

"It's something you think about every day, and realize you have to put your foot forward each day as you get up and realizing it's really happening, and you hope it's just a bad dream, but it's definitely a nightmare, and it is hard," she said.

"Early Show" co-anchor Erica Hill noted that Josh Powell has taken out a restraining order against Chuck and Judy Cox. The couple is currently unable to see their grandsons, Chuck Cox who also appeared on "The Early Show."

Judy Cox remarked that the order has been hard on her family. "Those are our grandkids, a part of Susan, and yet we're so close but yet we're far away," she said.