Long wait for answers could end soon in missing-man case

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 7:19 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2022 at 7:21 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A Burke County family could get closure over six years after Simon Powell went missing.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office says deputies found human remains in a pond off Highway 56, where they were specifically looking for his body.

The GBI is now examining those remains.

Two months ago, Powell’s case had gone cold, with no arrests, no leads, and no justice for his family.

We explain why this case and this process are important to the community.

“This family, the Powell family, never lost hope,” says Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams.

Now, six years later, that hope could slowly turn into some form of closure as the Powell case regains traction.

“We have executed some preliminary tests which give us indications that we have found some human bones we are now in the process of taking those findings to a forensic anthropologist in Atlanta,” says Williams.

Williams doesn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up just yet. He says only time will tell.

“The GBI is extremely busy and has a backlog of cases and they have a system of participation that might take us quite a while. I would imagine six months to a year and that’s just my estimate depending on what’s going on and what continues to happen,” he says.

Investigators search several bodies of water and drained one pond which led them to the human remains discovered.

“It’s unclear at this point whether we will be able to extract DNA from our findings, so we are waiting to hear about those results as well that it’s going to be key to connecting these the remains if they are in fact proving to be that to Mr. Simon Powell,” says Williams.

Williams says the investigation team has worked tirelessly to provide answers for the Powell family and will not stop until they have enough evidence to prosecute.

“Our investigators have worked tirelessly we have all been out there training times fighting ticks and cutting trees. The drivers have just gone out of their way to help us, this family. This community will be proud of the work that has gone into this case and the folks who have worked out and just not watch the clock that worked with a resolve to bring closer to the family,” he says.

So far two people have been arrested in the case.

Stacey Welch and Mitchell Lambert are charged with murder, kidnapping and armed robbery.

Williams says the $30,000 reward money is still there. To get that, they need information leading to an arrest in Powell’s case.

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