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Bodies recovered from mine believed to be missing Eureka couple

Investigators work to recover two bodies from a mine shaft near Eureka, March 28, 2018.

EUREKA – After months of searching, police believe they have found the bodies of a teenage couple that has been missing since the end of December.

Crews from Utah County say they’ve found two bodies in the abandoned Tintic Standard Mine Number Two just outside of Eureka, and they believe they’re the bodies of Riley Powell and Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson.  Utah County Sheriff’s Office deputies came to the mine Tuesday night, and that’s when they made the discovery.

“We borrowed a cable camera from Spanish Fork City, which has 2,000 feet of cable.  We lowered that down inside the mine and were able to identify a couple of bodies, down there,” according to Utah County Undersheriff Darin Durfey.

(Photo Credit: Laura Seitz, Desert News)

The hills along Dividend Road are filled with decayed and broken mine shaft entrances.  Durfey says this particular mine was fenced off, but, it was still open enough for someone to walk in.  He can’t confirm it, but, he believes it’s safe to assume the bodies were dumped there.

“Reportedly, that mine shaft could be as deep as 1,800 feet.  However, those bodies were discovered about 100 feet down, on a ledge,” says Durfey.

Police believe the bodies are that of Powell and Otteson, however, that has not been officially confirmed, yet.”

“They’re going to be taken to the M.E.’s office and an identification is going to be made.  There’s going to be an evidentiary analysis of the bodies for anything that links them to potential foul play,” says Juab County Sheriff Doug Anderson.

There were mixed emotions among the families of both Otteson and Powell.  There were tearful children hugging each other after hearing the news.  Still, Otteson’s aunt, Amanda Hunt, says the families have been mentally preparing themselves for this outcome.

“We were ready for it.  It’s just… you don’t know how you’re going to react when it comes.  Bill [Powell], we’ve been by each other’s side through this whole thing. We’ve been a team,” Hunt says.

Even without official confirmation, Hunt says they believe their loved ones were found in that cave.

“We’re bringing the kids home. That’s where we’re at, right now.  We’re finally getting that closure,” Hunt says.

“It’s been a long ordeal for us.  We’ve searched a lot of country,” says Powell’s dad, Bill Powell, adding, “They haven’t been identified positively, but, what are the odds?” asks Powell.

Powell says he can’t think of anyone who would want to hurt Breezy and Riley, but, he’s hoping investigators can bring whoever did this to justice.