Detectives requested phone records and Facebook pages connected to two teenagers who were reported missing early last month and may be the victims of a homicide, according to an affidavit for search warrants that were unsealed on Wednesday.
Riley Powell, 18, and Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson, 18, were reported missing Jan. 2. They had left Tooele about 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 30, reportedly to go to their Eureka home, according to family members. But the teenagers never arrived.
Sanpete County police requested call records and text messages from cellphone numbers that belonged to the missing couple, as well as phone records of Powell’s mother.
Detectives also requested files related to multiple Facebook pages that belong to Powell, as well as Powell’s mother and her boyfriend.
A Sanpete County detective had discovered “multiple conversations with people in the Juab and Tooele county areas” while looking through files related to Otteson’s and Powell’s Facebook pages.
“All conversations seem to end on the night of the 29th or the morning of the 30th December 2017,” the warrant states.
These warrants were unsealed two days after other unsealed warrants showed that Juab County officers had found evidence of a possible homicide, desecration of a dead body and obstruction of justice.
Police searched the property of Powell’s mother in mid-January and questioned three people about the disappearance, according to an affidavit for a search warrant that was unsealed Monday.
Powell’s mother, her boyfriend, Powell’s grandmother and the grandmother’s boyfriend live on a property in Lofgreen, a small community 15 miles northeast of Eureka.
No one has been arrested, but “the investigation has significantly advanced” since the search of the property, according to the Juab County Sheriff’s Office.
Juab County officials have said they “strongly” suspect foul play in the teenagers’ disappearance.
While searching the Cherry Creek Reservoir area on Jan. 11, an aerial search crew saw the Jeep the teens had been riding in before they were reported missing.
Cherry Creek Reservoir is about 14 miles southwest of Eureka.
Police believe the vehicle was intentionally abandoned near Cherry Creek Road by someone other than the teens. It was obscured by trees and out of sight from the road, according to an earlier news release from the Sheriff’s Office.
According to the search warrant, two of the Jeep’s tires had been punctured after the vehicle had stopped moving.
Investigators also found a “camouflage tie-down strap” stuck in the driver’s side of the car, according to the search warrant.
A witness told police she had seen a blue truck pulling a Jeep “described as ‘the one Riley [Powell] is always driving’ ” on Jan. 2.
On Jan. 15, when detectives with Tooele, Sanpete and Juab County visited the Lofgreen property, they saw a blue truck that matched the description given by the witness. In the truck, police found a tie-down strap identical to the one stuck in the Jeep. Police suspect that the truck was used to tow and hide the Jeep to “give the illusion that the victims [were] indeed stranded.”
Police interviewed the two women and the grandmother’s boyfriend. But the boyfriend of Powell’s mother, who drives the truck described by the witness, refused to talk to police.
On Jan. 16, the search warrant states, investigators returned and searched the house on the Lofgreen property. On that day, the boyfriend of Powell’s mother told police that the other three residents were in Wendover, according to the search warrants.
Rocky Mountain Rescue cadaver dogs showed “a lot of interest” in the truck, but couldn’t “pinpoint where the odor was coming from,” according to the search warrants. The truck has been impounded as evidence.
On Jan. 18, three days after the residents of the Lofgreen residence were questioned, West Wendover police told the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office that Powell’s mother had tried to commit suicide, according to the warrant.