‘Through the darkness there is light’: Families of murdered teens host dinner to thank community

Jun 11, 2022, 10:20 PM | Updated: 11:07 pm

EUREKA, Utah — Just a few days after their convicted killer was sentenced to four life prison sentences, the families of Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson and Riley Powell hosted a dinner to thank those who helped with the case.

“It’s kind of the closing piece of it all,” said Amanda Davis, Otteson’s aunt.

Jerrod Baum sentenced to 4 life sentences for murders of Breezy, Riley

The group gathered at the Memorial Building on Main Street in Eureka where photos of the teenagers were displayed and “thank you” posters hung on the walls.

“We love and we appreciate you all,” Davis told the group seated for dinner, which included law enforcement, attorneys, jurors, those who helped search for the teens and anyone else who provided support.

Otteson, 17, and Powell, 18, went missing in December 2017. Months later, their bodies were found in a mineshaft near Eureka, and four years later, the case finally went to trial.

“It was a long process,” said Karen Cory from Payson.

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

Cory’s daughter helped in the search, even though she had never met the teens. Cory also attended the funeral and court hearings.

“I just felt like to go and support them because, with that type of thing, you need all the support you can get,” Cory said.

Many in the room Saturday night didn’t know one another before the murders, but they forged a bond through the tragedy.

“A lot of good has come out of a very bad situation,” said Bill Powell, Riley’s dad. “It just shows us there’s a lot of good people in this world still.”

The night was focused on hope and healing.

“If it wasn’t for the community, if it wasn’t for all of them, we wouldn’t be here today,” Davis said.

After the dinner, the group traveled to a memorial site for Breezy and Riley, near where their bodies were found. The families said they are looking to move forward to the next phase, which includes building a park to honor the teens.

“Our hearts are broken. You can’t touch that trauma, but through the darkness there is light,” Davis said.

“It’s just nice to see things kind of finally come to an end for the family,” Cory said.

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‘Through the darkness there is light’: Families of murdered teens host dinner to thank community