LOCAL NEWS

TIMELINE: Investigation, trial in the killings of Breezy Otteson and Riley Powell

Mar 7, 2022, 12:22 PM | Updated: Apr 15, 2022, 10:47 pm

Breezy Otteson and Riley Powell...

Breezy Otteson and Riley Powell

In January 2018, two teens, 17-year-old Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson and 18-year-old Riley Powell, disappeared. What followed was a monthslong investigation and a yearslong effort to get to trial.

Here’s a timeline of the events.

Dec. 29, 2017: Powell and Otteson were last seen together. They made a stop in Spanish Fork on their way home to Eureka where they lived with Powell’s grandfather.

They visited 34-year-old Morgan Lewis Henderson (who goes by Morgan Lewis in the 2022 murder trial) in Mammoth, Utah.

The following events are based on Henderson’s testimony.

Jerrod William Baum, Henderson’s boyfriend, arrived at the home in Mammoth and told Henderson, “I told you you couldn’t have guy friends.”

Baum bound the teens’ hands and feet, duct-taped their mouths and placed them in a jeep. Baum then drove the jeep with Henderson in the passenger seat and the teens in the back to a remote area of Eureka on the edge of a cliff.

At some point, Otteson requested to be untied and said she was pregnant.

Baum forced Henderson and Otteson to their knees and made them witness as he beat and repeatedly stabbed Powell before pushing him down a mine shaft.

Baum then slit Otteson’s throat and picked her up before dropping her down the open mine shaft.

Baum said “that he had made Riley suffer, but that he felt bad about Brelynne, so he made her death quick and painless,” the charges state.

Jan. 2, 2018: The teens were reported missing.

Jan. 9, 2018: Detectives enter the home of Baum and Henderson and ask them about the teens’ whereabouts. Baum and Henderson tell police Powell may have gotten into a fight on New Year’s Eve and they don’t know where they are or what happened.

Jan. 11, 2018: Powell’s jeep was found about a mile south of Cherry Creek Reservoir, hidden by some trees with two flat tires.

Jan. 15, 2018: A search warrant is served at Powell’s mother’s home in Tooele County. Juab County Sheriff Doug Anderson releases a statement that says the condition and location of the Jeep is “highly suspicious” and foul play is “strongly suggested.”

Jan. 25, 2018: Henderson was interviewed by police. She claimed the teens never visited her home the night of Dec. 29 until the detective continued to press her with questions.

Henderson eventually admitted they had visited the home, but didn’t know where they had gone or what had become of them.

March 25, 2018: Henderson was pulled over for speeding and arrested for investigation of drug and weapons charges. She felt “tremendous guilt” and tells police how Baum killed the teens and where he dumped the bodies.

March 27, 2018: Henderson leads police to Tintic Standard Mine, an abandoned mine in a remote area of Utah County. Using a camera, two bodies, later confirmed to be Otteson and Powell, are located about 100 feet down in the Tintic Standard Mine. Both Powell and Otteson had their hands tied behind their backs and appeared to have stab wounds, according to a police affidavit.

March 28, 2018: Baum is arrested on the suspicion of murder.

Families Of Murdered Teens Waiting For Justice 3 Years After They Went Missing

March 30, 2018: Henderson is arrested on suspicion of obstruction of justice. The bodies found in the mine are confirmed to be Riley Powell and Brelynne Otteson by the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner.

April 3, 2018: Baum is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Otteson and Powell, along with a string of other felonies.

April 5, 2018: Henderson is charged with two second-degree felony counts of obstructing justice.

May 1, 2019: A judge determines there is enough evidence to bring the case to trial.

June 10, 2019: Baum pleads not guilty to the charges in the deaths of Otteson and Powell.

March 7, 2022: The trial for the murder of Otteson and Powell begins almost four years after their deaths.

“It’s unreal that we’re here,” Amanda Davis, Otteson’s aunt, said to KSL Monday. “We have fought tooth and nail to get here and it’s an emotional day to know that we’ve made it and that we can finally see it through.”

“We just hope the outcome here is what we’re looking for,” said Bill Powell, Riley’s dad. “The original outcome (the death penalty) got taken away from us, but life in prison is the next thing we got to look forward to, and we hope that happens.”

“We hope for justice for Breezy and Riley,” Davis said.

 

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Quinn McKay, second from the left, was a Marine in World War II in a unit that suffered heavy casua...

Mike Anderson

Utah veterans think of friends while preparing for honor flight

Monday was a special Memorial Day for more than 70 Utah war veterans who are preparing for an honor flight Tuesday.

6 hours ago

Police are searching for shooters who they say fired at another car while fleeing an alleged robber...

Andrew Adams

Police seek suspects after shots fired, crash in Sandy neighborhood

Police on Monday were looking for suspects following shots that were fired and a crash that took place close to a high-density housing development.

6 hours ago

Nine people have been displaced following a house fire Monday evening in Payson. (Payson Fire Depar...

Mark Jones

9 people displaced in Payson house fire, no injuries reported

Nine people have been displaced following a house fire Monday evening in Payson.

7 hours ago

A Memorial Day gathering marked the heartwarming end to what started as an upsetting story in the G...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Restored headstone vandalized at Grantsville Cemetery unveiled on Memorial Day

A Memorial Day gathering marked the heartwarming end to what started as an upsetting story in the Grantsville Cemetery. Months after historic headstones were found broken and destroyed, one extended family came together with reason to celebrate. 

9 hours ago

The exterior of the Wells Ward building in Salt Lake City's Liberty Wells neighborhood on Saturday....

Mark Jones and Shelby Lofton

Neighbors say Wells Ward meetinghouse was left in disrepair for years before fire

A nearly 100-year-old church is set to be demolished after a fire Sunday morning left it in ruins.

9 hours ago

With the unofficial start to the summer here, that means more Utah families will be going out for a...

Brianna Chavez

Officials remind swimmers to be cautious before stepping foot in water this summer

With the unofficial start to the summer here, that means more Utah families will be going out for a swim. But aquatics officials are urging anyone who gets in the pool or open water to be cautious.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

TIMELINE: Investigation, trial in the killings of Breezy Otteson and Riley Powell