Search warrant in missing teens case surprised grandmother

LOFGREEN, Utah (News4Utah) -  Riley Powell's grandmother wants answers.

Linda Powell's grandson Riley and his girlfriend Breezy Otteson disappeared on December 30.  They haven't been heard from since.

Monday, a search warrant served by the Sanpete-Juab County Major Crimes Task Force was unsealed.

According to the search warrant they now suspect "foul play."

The search warrant was executed at the home where Linda Powell lives.  She said the home belongs to her boyfriend William "Clubby" Larson.  Riley's biological mother and her boyfriend also live in the same home.

 "(I am) scared, very scared," said Linda Powell about the investigation.  "I don't know what's going to happen for sure.  So we just wait." 

Powell said she last saw Riley and Breezy December 29.  They were leaving but asked for a blanket before they departed.

"That was the last time I seen him," said Powell.

They vanished.  But weeks later, Riley's Jeep was found hidden beneath some trees.

"I think somebody put it there," Powell said. "Who? I don't know."

She cast doubt that Riley became stranded and got lost.  She said he knows the back roads quite well.  Powell also said the couple were engaged to be married and doubted they ran away.

"They were very happy," Powell said.  "And he's lived her all his life.  He knows everybody. This is his home."

But a search warrant served on the home of Larson revealed possible evidence.  Investigators learned a neighbor saw Powell's boyfriend towing a vehicle that resembled Riley’s.

"He (Larson) was helping a friend," said Powell.  "He was towing that vehicle."

DNA and blood of a dead person was taken as well from the home, according to the search warrant.

"I wasn't here so I don't know what they found," she said.  "They didn't tell us."

Investigators also seized found fabric from a towing strap.  The same fabric was found on the axle of Riley's Jeep.   Powell said Larson didn't really answer that.

"No, not really," said Powell.  "All I got out of it, it was the same kind.  They don't suspect Clubby (Larson).  He works at Kennecott. He's not home half the time."

Again, Riley's biological mother and her boyfriend also live at the same home.

A former prosecutor and now, a defense attorney said law enforcement needs more than the circumstantial evidence they've seized.

"We don't have a confirmed death yet," said Greg Skordas.  "Right now it's a missing person's case.  And people need to keep that in mind. And in fairness to the families they should have some hope. They should have some feeling that maybe some good can come of this.  But police also have to assume the worse and investigate it as if something horrible happened."

But it appears Riley's grandmother has given up hope that Riley will return.

"It's been too long," said Powell.  "There's no way they'll find him alive.  That's all I want is to be able to put him to rest.  I don't want him out here in the middle of no where."


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