Searchers found a Jeep belonging to two missing teens in Juab County on Thursday, but said there was “no sign” of the teens.
Riley Powell, 18, and Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson, 17, left Tooele in the Jeep about 9:30 a.m. Dec. 30. They two had been dating about four months, Otteson’s aunt Amanda Hunt said, and were planning to head to the home they share in Eureka. But they haven’t been seen or heard from since.
A family member reported them missing to sheriff’s offices in both Juab and Tooele counties.
On Thursday, almost two weeks later, searchers flying near Cherry Creek spotted the Jeep “out of sight of the roadway” in a rural area of Juab County, according to a news release from the Juab County Sheriff’s Office. Cherry Creek Reservoir lies about 14 miles southwest of Eureka.
A Thursday night post on the Facebook page “Searching for Breezy and Riley” said that the Jeep was hidden by trees and had two flat tires. All of the windows had been rolled down, according to the post, and there were no signs of foul play.
Cadaver dogs and searchers scoured the area, but found no sign of the teens. “Investigators are following up on many leads,” the sheriff’s office said.
Family members have “mixed emotions” after Thursday’s find, Hunt said. “We’re happy that the Jeep was found, but we also have all these unanswered question. We don’t know where the kids are.”
The family is watching for any activity with bank accounts or on social media, Hunt said, but so far there hasn’t been any. Before going missing, Otteson had been particularly active on the social media app Snapchat, her aunt said.
Powell was born and raised in Eureka, Hunt said, where he learned hunting and camping. “He knows what to do for survival,” she said.
Since Thursday’s discovery, officials have intensified search efforts in the Cherry Creek area, Hunt said, and members of the public should try to avoid the area to allow them better access.
The family is grateful for volunteers who want to help search, Hunt said, but efforts are being coordinated by the Juab County Sheriff’s Office, and members of the public should “let the professionals do their job in that area.”
Just because the Jeep was located in one area doesn’t mean people shouldn’t keep an eye out for the teens elsewhere, Hunt said. “They could be anywhere.”