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Body found in Utah desert is male, not missing mother

By Philip Rosenbaum, Nancy Grace Producer
  • The fate of Susan Powell, who disappeared in 2009, is still unknown
  • The remains discovered over the weekend belong to a young man, police say
  • The grim discovery fuels the mystery of the missing woman

(CNN) -- Human remains discovered in the Utah desert belong to a young male and are not a missing 28-year-old mother, authorities said, a grim discovery that fuels the mystery and opens a new case.

The fate of Susan Powell, who disappeared in 2009, is still unknown.

The remains discovered in Tooele County over the weekend belonged to a young man, Sheriff's Detective Lt. Travis Scharmann said.

Scharmann said the state medical examiner is working to determine the cause, time and other circumstances of his death.

In addition to Powell, authorities must now determine what happened to the man whose remains were found in the same region on Sunday.

America's Missing: Susan Powell, 28
  • Utah

They were ''badly decomposed and scattered throughout a wide area, possibly by wild animals,'' according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

An attorney found the bones in the area where his family owns ranch property.

Investigators will likely dig for more body parts, Bill Manion, a medical examiner for Burlington County, New Jersey, told HLN's Nancy Grace on Monday.

"The most important bones that they can find are the jaw and mandible, part of the skull, because if we have the teeth, we can be very, very accurate in identification,'' Manion said.

Meanwhile, the search for the missing woman continues.

Josh Powell says he last saw his wife on a cold December night in 2009 as he and his two young sons left to go camping in the Tooele County desert area. Powell's sister reported her as missing.

A month later, Powell and his children moved to the state of Washington.

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