Encrypted Emails Could Hold Key Evidence In Susan Powell Investigation
(KUTV) In the last year, much of the investigative power of the West Valley City Police Department was focused on the brother of Josh Powell. They say they think Michael Powell may have had a hand in Susan’s disappearance.
Police say Michael was aware he was a focus of the investigation into Susan Cox Powell’s disappearance when he committed suicide last year.
Investigators have hard drives in an evidence locker, containing emails between the brothers, which occurred around the time Susan vanished in December 2009. However, police have been unable to decipher them.
“Michael Powell and his brother Josh Powell used encryption in various forms to communicate electronically,” Deputy Chief Phil Quinlan with WVCPD said.
The brothers apparently downloaded encryption software, protecting their communications, which investigators believe could reveal key evidence. The encryption, according to Quinlan, is so sophisticated that they have not been able to decipher it with current technology.
Computer expert Pete Ashdown, with XMission, says the encryption software used complicated mathematical algorithms to create keys that open the Powell messages.
“There’s rumors that the NSA has Star Trek like technology to break these things, but I tend to trust the mathematicians…It’s a relatively simple formula and it’s unbreakable at this point,” Ashdown says.
Police say they went to the source, the manufacturer of the encryption software, but they say they can’t help.
Weather update for the morning of May 22, 2013: This morning is warm and windy. Skies are mostly clear. A front gets close to Utah but has a tough time delivering anything other than gusty winds. Morning low is 57-degrees.
Forecast for Today & Tonight: The cold-front in the Pacific Northwest really doesn`t do much for Utah. South of Ogden many areas are going to hit at least 80-degrees today. Gusty winds will be with for the next couple of days. We will likely see temperatures only drop a bit as the front finally comes through. It will be weak by the time it gets here.
Orem High Football Player Makes Big Comeback After Cardiac Arrest
(KUTV) When 16 year-old Ben White woke up in a hospital room and saw his father next to him, he had no idea how he got there. "It scared me. I was terrified," he said in his hospital room at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. When Ben woke up, it had been two days since he collapsed on the football field while doing sprints with his teammates at Orem High and went into cardiac arrest. Doctors cooled his brain and put him in a medically induced coma and prepared him for treatment that would save his life. Ben's coach, Tyler Anderson, had already completed the first part of the life-saving work by giving him immediate CPR after he passed out.
"I couldn't be happier," said Dr. David Wong, the heart rhythm specialist who treated Ben. Wong said as soon as doctors got to work, they diagnosed him with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW)—a condition where extra fibers are present in the heart. When a person with the condition becomes overexerted, natural electrical currents make extra passes through the fibers causing the heart to go into overdrive, and then stop. "This was the most dramatic presentation of Wolff-Parkinson-White that one can image," said Wong. WPW is a common condition that can be treated if detected early. Ben's was the worst case scenario as he went into cardiac arrest.
Wong said the medical community is still very divided as to whether or not to test young athletes like Ben for WPW. The test is a non-invasive, painless EKG. Those cautious of testing every athlete argue the test could detect other subtle conditions that may not be of concern, yet lead to other tests , or discourage kids from playing sports out of fear they might have the disorder, said Wong. Wong would not give his professional opinion on administering the tests to seemingly healthy young athletes. "But as a personal opinion, if it were my family, I would (do the test)," he said.
"We feel so blessed," said Ben's parents Richard and Susan who didn't leave their son's side at the hospital. The White's said they had no clue there might be something wrong with Ben's heart before he collapsed.
They said they will test their four younger sons, who are also involved in sports, for WPW. Meantime, they are thankful for their son's recovery and the work of doctors and coaches who helped Ben.
Police: New Utah Law, 'Revictimizes Victims' of Theft
By Matt Gephardt Produced by Michelle Poe Edited by Aaron Colborn Photography by Michael Fessler, David Yost and Brian Morris (KUTV) Dan and Anna Young's son has diabetes so they keep a supply of insulin in the fridge. To be prepared just in case the power goes out, they also bought a portable generator.
Last December, that generator was stolen from a storage shed behind their Centerville, Utah home. The Young's called Centerville Police and filed a report. Then in February, the police found the generator at the Cash America Pawn shop in Salt Lake City. Dan and Anna say they were thrilled until they learned they wouldn't be getting their property back right away.
“For us to get it back we'd have to buy it back," Dan says the police told him.
Dan and Anna can prove the generator is theirs; they still have the receipt and purchase papers showing the serial numbers match the generator found in the pawn shop.
“It feels like we're being victimized twice,” Anna said. “First we get it stolen and then we have to buy our own property back.”
“The laws are set up more to protect the pawn shop than the original owner,” Dan said.
Dan and Anna say they protested with the police but they were told that legally the pawn shop doesn't have to give their property back right away. With that, they decided to Get Gephardt to investigate.
Get Gephardt learned that a new Utah law seems to protect the pawn shops in situations where stolen property is found on their shelves. House Bill 175 was passed and signed into law a year ago and it gives pawn shops the power to "hold" the item until "a criminal prosecution is commenced." In other words, the pawn shop gets to keep the stolen item until the thief is found, arrested and convicted.
If the thief is never found then, after several months, the police can "seize" the property, the law says. After that, the case goes to court and a judge decides whether or not the victim gets their stolen property back.
If the victim wants their property back sooner, the law says they can buy it back from the pawn shop.
Sergeant Von Steenblick with the Centerville Police Department says the new law makes reuniting victims of theft and their property more difficult.
“The way the law reads now, it's a little more friendly to the pawn shops,” he said.
Steenblick says the old law would have allowed the police to get the generator back for the Young's about a month after it was found. Then the pawn shop, who bought the stolen property, could try to get restitution from the person that sold it to them.
“I feel for the victims,” Steenblick said. “The victims had their property stolen. It's recovered but yet they can't use their property…they're just victimized again."
State Representative Jennifer Seelig sponsored HB 175. She says the old law dealing with stolen and pawned property was confusing. She says HB 175 spells out the rights and responsibilities for pawn shops, police and victims.
"We certainly never intended to put victims at a greater disadvantage," Seelig said. "We wanted to ensure that we were limiting transactions involving stolen property to begin with, that we would help protect victim’s rights and that we would also create a stable business environment for merchants."
Seelig says it's “important” the original property owner and property get reunited but it is “really important” that victims, police and pawn shops have a clear expectation of the process too and that the process is reasonable.
As for Dan and Anna, they refused to pay to get their stolen generator back and instead decided to go the legal route to recover it. They waited three months while Cash America Pawn held it. Then, when the Centerville Police seized the generator, the pawn shop opted not to fight further, Anna told Get Gephardt. The case will not go to court. Centerville Police returned the generator to Dan and Anna.
Get Gephardt called Cash America Pawn to ask if they would like to comment for this story. Our call was not returned.
Mayor of Tornado Ravaged Town Says New Law Should Be Made to Keep People Safe
MOORE, Oklahoma (CNN) -- The mayor of tornado-ravaged Moore, Oklahoma, will push for a law requiring storm shelters or safe rooms in new homes, he told CNN Wednesday.
"We'll try to get it passed as soon as I can," Glenn Lewis said.
The ordinance would apply to single-family and multi-family homes.
At least 24 people, including nine children, were killed in Monday's mammoth tornado, the state medical examiner's office said.
Lewis said he does not expect the death toll to rise.
But some loved ones are still missing after the twister ripped through 17 miles of central Oklahoma and pummeled 2,400 homes.
Cassandra Jenkins has no idea what happened to her grandparents, more than a day after the twister struck their hometown of Moore.
"All we know is that their home is still left standing. However, they have not been seen or heard from since the storm hit," she said as her daughters clutched photos of their great-grandparents.
"We've tried to locate them at every hospital, every shelter, every Red Cross. Anything we could possibly reach out to, we have."
Young lives remembered
One of the most heartbreaking scenes in Moore is the pile of wreckage where Plaza Towers Elementary School once stood.
Seven of the nine children killed in the storm were inside the school when it collapsed.
The children were in a classroom, Moore Fire Chief Gary Bird told CNN Wednesday. He also said their deaths "had nothing to do with flooding, from what I understand." On Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb told CNN the youngsters had drowned in a school basement.
Ja'Nae Hornsby, 9, was one of them.
"There's no other kid like her," Ja'Nae's aunt Angela Hornsby said. "She's the sweetest thing, the bossiest thing, the most fun, always trying to make us laugh."
Ja'Nae's father, Joshua Hornsby, isn't ready to accept that his little girl is gone.
"I'm still hoping for that call to say, 'We've made a mistake,' " he said. "I just pray that's what it is."
Destruction on a colossal scale
Damage assessments Tuesday showed the tornado had winds over 200 mph at times, making it an EF5 -- the strongest category of tornadoes measured, the National Weather Service said.
Lewis said the devastation was so catastrophic that city officials rushed to print new street signs to help guide rescuers and residents through the newly mangled and unfamiliar landscape.
The financial impact will be monumental. Insurance claims will probably top $1 billion, said Kelly Collins of the Oklahoma Insurance Commission.
Craig Fugate, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, told CNN the agency is in "good shape" to support the recovery in Oklahoma and in other disaster zones, such as rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York. "We got full allocation last year with the Sandy supplemental funds. We are looking to continue the response here as well as the previous disasters."
But "if we have another hurricane, we may need more money," he said Wednesday.
Those helping in Moore include police and firefighters from Joplin, Missouri -- a city all too familiar with grief and devastation.
Wednesday marks the second anniversary of the tornado that pulverized Joplin, killing at least 158 people. It was the deadliest single U.S. tornado since federal record-keeping began in 1950.
"We remember the amount of assistance that we received following the tornado two years ago, and we want to help others as they helped us," Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr said.
"We know too well what their community is facing, and we feel an obligation to serve them as they have served us."
'Still can't believe this'
Some residents of Moore ventured back to where their homes once stood, only to find unrecognizable scraps of their lives.
"You just want to break down and cry," Steve Wilkerson said, his voice trembling.
He held a laundry basket that contained the few intact belongings he could find.
"I still can't believe this is happening. You work 20 years, and then it's gone in 15 minutes."
Teachers lauded for saving students
Amid the trauma and grief, tales of heroism and gratitude sprouted up across Moore.
Several teachers at Briarwood Elementary shielded their students with their bodies or distracted them with impromptu games as they took cover from the tornado that demolished their school.
Suzanne Haley was impaled by the leg of a desk while protecting her students.
"We crowded the children under desks, and me and a fellow teacher put ourselves in front of the desks that the children were under," she told CNN's Piers Morgan.
The roof and walls collapsed around them as the tornado's fury enveloped the school. The leg of the desk pierced her right calf, jutting out on both sides.
"By the grace of God, I kept it together," she said. "I couldn't go into hysterics in front of my children, in front of the other students. I had to be calm for them."
Miraculously, everyone at Briarwood survived.
While many describe the teachers as heroes, Haley dismisses the title.
"It's nothing anybody wouldn't do," she said. "These children -- we see their smiles, their tears, every day, in and out, and we love them."