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Police investigate new lead in Susan Powell missing case

Susan Powell, right, at a church function with her husband Josh Powell, left, Dec. 5, 2009
Susan Powell at a church function with her husband Josh Powell, left, Dec. 5, 2009 in West Valley City, Utah AP Photo/Suzy Guzman

(CBS/AP/KUTV) WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah - Police in Utah say they plan to launch a search of the remote mountain desert around Ely, Nev. on Friday in hopes of finding Susan Powell, the Utah mother of two missing since 2009.

PICTURES: Missing Utah Mother Susan Powell

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 a new lead in the case. Few details about the lead are known, reports CBS affiliate KUTV.

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.

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.

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 the search that was to begin today.

Investigators will hold a press conference this morning. 

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."

Pictures: Missing Utah Mother Susan Powell

Complete Coverage of Susan Powell on Crimesider