Journalists aspire to be Wordsmiths.
We try to be careful in the use of language. We try to be accurate and use words accurately. We try.
So it is frustrating beyond words when others do not.
Stop! Time out!
Before I go on, I want to make it clear that West Valley Police have a tough job. The Susan Cox Powell case is complicated. No witnesses to a crime (if there is one). No body (again, if there is one).
From the Chief on down, they should be given a standing ovation for continuing to work so hard to find out what happened to her.
They have not given up. That says a lot about their integrity and determination.
Okay, back to my complaint.
Don't say you've "found" something when you haven't.
If a cadaver dog sits down -- hits on a spot in the middle of the brush and dry grass at the foot of an extinct volcano, then say so! Explain what that means. Surely that won't give away any secrets or compromise the investigation.
But for Heaven's sake, don't say, "We've found human remains. We're confident they're human."
Found means you've seen it. You can hold it. Possess it.
The New World wasn't "found" by Columbus just because a few seagulls did a flyby of La Nina, La Pinta and Santa Maria. He saw it. He went ashore and walked on it. (Of course, he thought it was the East Indies ... but that's another matter.)
A dog or several dogs "indicating" on a spot of earth is not "found."
Digging in that spot and uncovering hair or bone or tissue, now that's "found."
Taking those remains back to a lab for analysis, that's "found."
A dog with an incredible sniffer ... not found
West Valley police have not yet "found" human remains near Topaz Mountain. Yet.
We can only pray that when something is found it will unravel the mystery of Susan's disappearance.