2 bodies discovered in mine shaft could be missing Eureka teenagers

Mar 28, 2018, 5:42 PM | Updated: 10:06 pm

EUREKA — Some questions never get answers. But today, the biggest question on the minds of a lot of people in the Eureka area may finally be closer to getting answered.

Wednesday, two bodies were found in the old Tintic Standard Mine Number Two. The abandoned mine is between Eureka in Juab County and the ghost town of Dividend in Utah County.

Law enforcement believes those two bodies could be two teenagers from the area who have been missing for nearly three months.

“It appears preliminarily that it may be Riley Powell and Breezy Otteson,” said Utah County Undersheriff Darin Durfey.

Law enforcement got a tip on Monday the two may be in the mine. A quick search Tuesday gave investigators enough information to call in reinforcements for a larger search Wednesday morning.

Search and rescue teams from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Juab County Sheriff’s Office, and the Unified Fire Authority’s heavy rescue team spent the day securing the two bodies and preparing to lift them out of the mine.

“Reportedly that mine shaft could be as deep as 1800 feet. However, those bodies were discovered a hundred feet down on a ledge and brought up,” said Durfey.

Positive identification of the bodies still has to be made by the State Medical Examiner’s Office.

“Evidence suggested that there was foul play involved,” said Juab County Sheriff Douglas Anderson. “It has been a very tragic thing for them and also for the community. It has polarized the entire community of Eureka where they lived. It’s been a real hard thing for us.”

Foul play was suspected after their Jeep was found in another part of Juab County.

Of course, if the bodies that were found are in fact those of Powell and Otteson, there’s a new question for the folks in Eureka.

What happened to them and who was involved?

“No arrests have been made yet. We do have persons of interest and our detectives are following up on that information,” said Durfee.

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2 bodies discovered in mine shaft could be missing Eureka teenagers