Deputies continue search in dried pond for Simon Powell clues

Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 11:14 AM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A pond was drained over the last couple of days in the ongoing search for answers on what happened to Simon Powell, who’s been missing for six years.

New developments on the case have been happening quickly after years of little progress since Powell was last seen on June 1, 2016, the day before his truck was found burned.

According to officials, the draining was expected to be finished Monday night. As of Thursday, officials drained roughly 95 percent of the pond and have been able to search a portion of the dried pond for evidence over the last few days.

Officials say the process includes raking away vegetation settled on the bottom of the pond and then sifting through mud and sand. Captain Jimmy Wylds with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office says he expects the draining to take another two days.

“I want you to know that every effort is being taken to find the remains of Simon Powell and we are committed to bring this case to closure,” Wylds said.

The search for Powell’s body has focused on ponds in Burke County.

Authorities first searched a pond off Ponderosa Road, with no luck. Then last week, the search moved to at least one pond at a new and undisclosed location. After at least a day or work, divers were unable to find remains, so the pond is being drained.

Two people have been arrested in connection to Powell’s disappearance.

The latest arrest, announced last week, was that of Mitchell Lanell Lambert, 39, of Waynesboro. He was arrested in Cummings and charged with murder, kidnapping and armed robbery in the case of Simon Powell, according to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.

Mitchell Lanell Lambert
Mitchell Lanell Lambert(Contributed)

Also arrested in the case was Stacey Welch. She initially sought for questioning after her name came up in the Powell case, according to authorities. Welch is charged with murder, armed robbery and kidnapping, according to deputies.

Stacey Welch
Stacey Welch(Contributed)

Sheriff Alfonzo Williams says he doesn’t believe she acted alone, and money could have been a motive.

Last week, authorities put out an alert for another person being sought for questioning: Crystal Gail Mundy Simmons, 43.

Crystal Gail Mundy Simmons
Crystal Gail Mundy Simmons(Contributed)

Simmons, 43, who weighs 150 pounds and is about 5 feet 9 inches tall and is believed to have connections in the Grovetown/Columbia County area and possibly Alabama, according to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.

The new developments follow a renewed spotlight on the case by deputies, who also recently raised the reward for information on Powell’s disappearance.

Simon Powell
Simon Powell(WRDW)

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