"We were very optimistic when [police] went down there," Cox said. "This could really be the place. Then the dogs failed to find anything, so the cadaver dog search part of it is over. That's disappointing."
If they don't find anything amid the rural area's rough terrain, Pyle does not expect the search will continue for more than another two days.
"I'm feeling fairly depressed," said Kiirsi Hellewell, a close friend of Susan Powell, who had been getting updates about the search throughout the day from Cox. Every time a new search begins and ends without closure, Hellewell feels like she's on an emotional rollercoaster.
"We hope and we pray that we find her finally," Hellewell said.
WVCPD have also searched the desert near Ely, Nev., for the woman's remains, and they've told Cox that if they get a tip even 20 years from now, they're still going to follow it. "You couldn't ask more from a police department," he said.
Susan Powell was last seen Dec. 6, 2009, at her West Valley City home. Josh Powell claimed he left about midnight and went camping in the West Desert with his sons, then ages 4 and 2.
Josh Powell remained a person of interest in the disappearance until Feb. 5, 2012, when he murdered the boys, Charlie and Braden, at his rental home in Graham, Wash., and set the house on fire, killing himself.
Steve Downing, an attorney for Susan Powell's parents, has theorized Josh Powell poisoned or spiked pancakes he cooked for his wife the night she disappeared.
Though the WVCPD scaled back their search in December, Deputy Chief Mike Powell has said detectives continue to investigate aspects of the Susan Powell disappearance.
The department recently had to return federal grant money it used to investigate her disappearance.