Search for missing man’s body moves to another pond

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 10:49 AM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The search for the body of Burke County missing man Simon Powell has resumed at a new location, authorities said Monday morning.

For two days last week, Burke County Sheriff’s Office deputies searched some woods and ponds of Pondersoa Road, but didn’t find what they were looking for.

“Over the weekend we have identified another pond that is a point of interest in this case,” sheriff’s Capt. Jimmy Wylds said Monday morning in a statement. “Our investigators along with EMA will work this area today and see what develops.”

Authorities are working in an area on private property that’s considered part of a crime scene, so they’re not disclosing the location.

“Our focus is on finding the remains of Mr. Powell and bringing his family and friends closure,” Wylds said.

The search comes after the arrest last Wednesday of 38-year-old Stacey Welch on charges of murder, kidnapping and armed robbery in Powell’s death.

The searches are based on information authorities got from Welch, Wylds said last week.

Stacey Welch
Stacey Welch(Contributed)

Sheriff Alfonzo Williams says he doesn’t believe she acted alone, and more arrests could come.

Powell was last seen on June 1, 2016. The next day, investigators found his truck burned.

In all that time, Powell’s family has never given up hope.

Simon Powell
Simon Powell(WRDW)

Just a few weeks ago, authorities renewed a spotlight on Powell’s case. The Burke County Sheriff’s Office had recently increased the reward for information on the case and issued an alert to be on the lookout for Welch, who was initially sought for questioning.

At the time the alert was issued, Wylds said her name had come up in the investigation and authorities wanted to question her to see what she might know.


“Now you’re looking for human remains and not necessarily a human body so we may find bones, we may not so that’s what we’re up against we’re trying to find Mr. Powell and it’s a tough job,” Williams said last week.

Limited resources and a precise search plan only drag out the search for the body of the logger who lived in Waynesboro.

“There’s only a few divers that we can get in the water at a time and it’s a grid search thing and it just takes time,” says Williams.

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