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Journals seized in case of missing Utah mother

The father-in-law of a Utah mother missing for nearly two years said Friday authorities seized computers and journals during an extensive hours-long search of his Washington state home.

"They went through every room in the house, the garage, even the crawl space," Steve Powell told the Associated Press.

The renewed effort in the search for Susan Cox Powell came just hours after the case spiraled into an emotional saga pitting one side of her family against the other.

The Powell family believes that Susan Powell ran off with another man. Her family prays she is still alive and has pleaded with her husband, Josh, to cooperate with authorities, who say he has been evasive.

He is the only person of interest in his wife's disappearance, but he has not been charged or detained and denies killing his wife or knowing anything about where she is.

Josh Powell's father, Steve Powell, claimed in a nationally televised interview Thursday that he had a flirtatious relationship with his daughter-in-law and that they were in love. Her parents adamantly denied the claims, saying Steve Powell initiated unwanted sexual advances toward her.

On Thursday, authorities from Utah converged on the Powell home in Puyallup, Wash., searching for journals from everyone, including Susan Powell, Steve Powell and Josh Powell, Steve Powell said.

He said they seized every computer in the home.

He said authorities also seized thumb drives, CDs and paper journals from the home.

Police have declined to comment on what they were seeking or what they found.

"We came here looking for specific things, and some of those things we've been able to find," West Valley City police Lt. Bill Merritt said. He called the evidence collected "very, very important" to the investigation.

The Powell family has been portraying Susan as promiscuous and emotionally unstable and had been offering as proof several diary pages from the missing woman's teenage years.

Her family says the entries were written by a young girl and have no bearing on the 28-year-old's disappearance. They have threatened to sue if the Powell family published them as promised.

Police say Josh Powell has refused to answer questions about a supposed midnight camping trip he said he took in December 2009 with the couple's sons -- then ages 4 and 2 -- in the mountains west of Salt Lake City the night before Susan Powell was reported missing.