Sanpete deputies helping
search for missing teens
By Robert Stevens
Jan. 25, 2018
JUAB COUNTY—The Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office is helping out in the hunt for a pair of missing Eureka teens whose disappearance now points strongly toward foul play said authorities.
Riley Powell, 18, and Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson, his 17-year-old girlfriend, haven’t been seen since Dec. 30, 2017, said his family.
The family began to worry when they didn’t come home to Eureka from Tooele where the two had been visiting family.
A large search-and-rescue effort has been underway up until earlier this week, but after the pair’s Jeep was found dumped in a remote location near Cherry Creek Reservoir in Juab County, the search and rescue became an investigation, with authorities from the Juab County Sheriff’s Office holding a strong hunch that something nonaccidental happened to the two.
Now with a full-blown investigation underway, through Sanpete County’s participation in the Juab-Sanpete Major Crimes Joint Task Force, Sanpete County Sheriff Brian Nielson said he has two detectives working 16-hour days on the investigation, trying to move it forward in cooperation with Juab law enforcement.
“Two of our detectives are heavily involved in the case and have helped make significant progress,” said Nielson, adding that the detectives are working the case with Juab and Tooele counties.
Nielson said the detectives wish to remain anonymous, but they “greatly enjoy the work they do, and we have never had the level of expertise that we currently have in our detective division.”
The Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by the pair was found with two flat tires, hidden in the trees with the belongings of both Powell and Otteson still inside.
Juab County Sheriff Douglas Anderson said that with the condition of the vehicle and its position in the trees, investigators believe the Jeep was placed there intentionally.
A major current goal is figuring out who dumped it there and why the Jeep was discarded in that remote location. Anderson said he believes it is clear that neither Powell nor Otteson is in need of rescue.
Meanwhile the family is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the teens.
Nielson said the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office currently have a detective training in advanced forensics with federal law enforcement. The detective is bringing back cutting-edge techniques and hardware to assist in ongoing and future investigations.