08/18/2011 at 12:10 PM EDT
For the first time in a case
that has baffled police
for nearly two years, a credible lead may have emerged in the Susan Powell disappearance.
"A team of West Valley Police Department detectives will arrive in Ely, Nev., and its surrounding area, to conduct a search and investigate the information received," says a statement released Thursday by police and reported by Utah's KSL Newsradio
At the time the Utah woman vanished, her husband, Joshua Powell – who initially refused to cooperate
with authorities – told investigators he last saw her at their house southwest of Salt Lake City on the night of Sunday, Dec. 6, when he took their then-2- and 4-year-old sons for an overnight camping trip.
When they returned the following afternoon, Josh said, his wife was gone.
Friends and family members found the story odd
, saying that Susan would not have taken off without her children.
The search for Susan will take place Friday, according to West Valley Police Sgt. Mike Powell (no relation), adding, "We've received some credible information that definitely needs some follow up. We want the public to be aware of what's going on."
Meanwhile, Josh Powell and the couple's two children reportedly now live in his home state of Washington.