'He was there all along' -- Man's remains are unearthed behind family member's former home

BURLINGTON, Wash. --  The remains unearthed in Bothell last week are Mill Creek man Michael Powell, according to detectives. It has been more than 20 years of not having answers or closure for Powell's family. Deputies are hoping to close this cold case as they search for a person of interest.

For the first time since the early 1990s, Powell's sister and niece have lost hope. 

Dyan Frizzelle believed the story her dad had told her—that her brother Michael Powell didn’t want anyone looking for him, and he ran off on his own.

“As time went on we kept thinking 'Gee ya know, where is he?' We thought at one point maybe he was in some sort of protective custody type thing.”

While she still doesn't know what happened in the early 1990s, when she last heard from her brother, Dyan and her 39 -year-old daughter Jennifer now know where he went.

“You never guess that it is gonna be someone you know who’s home—like a family member and I mean, he was there all along..”

Powell’s remains were unearthed behind a home on the 19900 block of 8th Avenue SE in Bothell after a neighbor who knew the previous homeowners tipped off detectives. Dyan knows exactly why her brother would have been there.

“It’s Karen’s brother..." confirming it was Powell's wife's brother who detectives are looking for.

Questions are now fresh once again as they laid dormant for so many years, for both Dyan and Jennifer, “There’s just so many pieces that aren’t connecting. I just wanna get to the bottom of it because I think it’s time.”

Jennifer isn't convinced either that this whole case is that simple.

"There’s gotta be something else to it, there’s no reason for him to leave.”

Jennifer, living most of her life just remembering her uncle Michael, exactly how he made her feel all those years ago.

“Wherever he was I wanted to be on his lap and with him.”

“She gravitated towards him yeah that’s all she talked about.”

The discovery of his remains last week have offered Dyan and Jennifer a sense of closure with the case, as they were always wondering where he went, waiting for him to come back.

“You’re still looking over your shoulder, you have hope, wondering where he is.”

But that closure won’t turn to peace they say, until detectives find Richard Nelson, the man who lived in the home with the backyard that became Powell’s resting place so many years ago.

Richard 'Rick' Nelson (Photo via Snohomish County Sheriff's Office)

“I won’t until it comes out I don’t know, I just want it to come out. All of it.”

So now, they wait again; this time, hoping it isn’t another 20 years, because the decades of heartache has been long enough.

“I don’t know maybe it won’t feel so empty.”

Police are asking for the public's help to locate 43-year-old Richard Nelson, who goes by 'Rick.'  He was last known to live in Bonney Lake and has ties to Pierce County. Nelson is 5’9” tall, weighs 185 pounds with brown eyes and blonde hair or shaved head.

Crime stoppers of Puget Sound is offering is a $1,000 cash reward for information leading to an arrest— you can do that at P3Tips.com or through the P3Tips App on your cell phone.