SALT LAKE CITY – Utah police are putting more investigators into the search for a 28-year-old mother whose disappearance has been termed "highly suspicious."
Since Susan Powell was reported missing Monday, authorities have questioned her husband and searched a desert area where he said he took the couple's two young children, ages 2 and 4, camping last weekend in freezing conditions.
Josh Powell returned Monday night, after police had already received a call from relatives who had not heard from the Powell family.
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"We are putting practically every detective we have on this case," West Valley City Police Capt. Tom McLachlan said Friday afternoon. "It's highly suspicious."
He said about 30 detectives hunted down leads Friday as investigators tried to verify Josh Powell's story, but couldn't because snow had covered the spot along The Pony Express Trail where he said he took the children.
Josh Powell did not return a call or an e-mail from The Associated Press on Friday.
Susan Powell's family in Puyallup, Wash., south of Seattle, was getting daily updates from police and hoped something would turn up to lead detectives to the missing mother of two.
"This is a really difficult time for the family," said Shelby Gifford, a friend who the family asked to act as a spokeswoman. "They've been really comforted by all of the support. That's something to hang on to right now, and they're very grateful for that."
Gifford said the family has also been in frequent contact with Susan Powell's friends, who held a candlelight vigil Thursday night at a park near the Powells' home.
"That's one of the only things that keeps you going," Gifford said. "That and the belief we need to find Susan and we need to find her now."
Gifford said police told the family that Susan Powell's purse and cell phone were in the home when it was searched.
The family called police Monday, when she didn't show up for her job as a stockbroker at Wells Fargo Financial.
McLachlan said she hasn't contacted anyone since her disappearance. Her parents say she wouldn't have left her two young sons and husband on her own accord.
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