Since the arrest of suspect Anthony Richards in May of 2016 for identity theft and fraud charges involving use of a credit card belonging to victim Larry Powers, the YCSO Cold Case unit has been diligently working this case. Assigned to a YCSO detective who is overseeing the investigation, their goal has been to locate the victim’s body. Evidence gathered in recent years provided strong indications that Richards was the main suspect in the death of Powers. After finding what are believed to be the remains of Powers, it is expected to lead to homicide charges against Richards and some sense of closure for the victim’s family.
Detectives had developed strong indications Powers’ body would be found in the area of the remote mining claim that he and Richards were working outside of Bagdad, Arizona. As part of the ongoing follow-up last year, detectives flew a drone over the claim and noticed a depressed section in the soil that caught their attention. The initial excavation of this area revealed a camping chair and other supplies just below the surface leading detectives to consider a deeper, forensic based, dig. This subsequent excavation, completed a few days ago, yielded human remains believed to belong to victim Larry Powers. Detectives are currently working with the Medical Examiner to confirm the identity.
Victim Larry Powers
The lead detective noted a particular cold case investigator’s ‘dogged determination’ to see the case resolved as being one of the main factors in the success to date.
Richards remains in the Camp Verde Detention Center on the numerous fraud charges from his May 2016 arrest with a bond of $100,000. Further charges are expected and pending a confirmation of victim’s identity by the Medical Examiner.
Anyone with additional information on this investigation is urged to call Detective John Mc Dormett at 928-777-7334 or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232.
Suspect Anthony Richards
Originally issued May 11, 2016 - Cold Case Update – Suspect Arrested – Detectives Seeking Public Input - The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help regarding a 2007 missing person’s case with strong indications of foul play. The victim, Lawrence “Larry” J. Powers, 58-years old at the time, has been missing since April 9, 2007, when he was last seen with Anthony Richards who was 44-years-old in 2007. The 2 men were seen together in Salome and Wickenburg on that day at two different gold mining stores.
Powers and Richards were also seen the day before at the LDMA (Lost Dutchman's Mining Association's) camp in Stanton, Arizona. Powers and Richards were partners in the Big Nugget mining claim near Bagdad, Arizona, at the time Powers went missing.
Powers, also known as “Larry” or “LP”, was 58-years-old when he disappeared and would be 67-years-old today. He was 5 foot 6 inches tall and weighed about 135 pounds. Richards is currently 53-years-old and is 6 foot 1 inches tall, weighing about 200 pounds – see side photos.
BACKGROUND - In June 2007, friends of 58-year-old Larry Powers reported him missing. Deputies learned that Powers had a joint mining claim outside of Bagdad, Arizona, with Anthony Richards, 44-years-old at the time. A missing person report had also been filed by Powers’ family members in California with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office as Powers’ home is located in the town of Murphys, California. Purchases were discovered on Powers credit card which directly benefitted Richards. Powers’ family members expressed concerned about his wellbeing and suspected Richards of foul play. In the weeks that followed, more claims from Powers’ friends concerning his safety in light of his relationship with Richards were documented.
The investigation was eventually turned over to YCSO detectives and Cold Case investigators who developed a timeline of activity for the pair. Part of the timeline involved the criminal use of Powers’ identity by Richards to purchase merchandise using Larry Power’s credit card. Powers was declared as presumed dead by the California Superior Court in 2012.
A lengthy investigation over the next period of years involving YCSO detectives and cold case volunteers resulted in a 23 count indictment against Richards for charges including, Trafficking in Stolen Property belonging to Powers, Theft of a handgun belonging to Powers, Theft of a Credit Card belonging to Powers, Forgery, and 19 counts of Identity Theft for use of Powers’ credit to complete purchases in 3 different states. A majority of the charges were made following Powers’ reported disappearance. A warrant was issued and Richards was recently arrested in the Terrebonne, Oregon area pending extradition. On May 5, 2016, YCSO detectives transported him from Oregon to the Camp Verde Detention Center where he remains in-custody on a $100,000 bond.
YCSO investigators are seeking anyone with information on the whereabouts of Larry Powers and/or anyone who has any knowledge of what lead to Power’s disappearance as well those who possess knowledge of Power’s relationship with Richards. Anyone with information is urged to call Detective John Mc Dormett at 928-777-7334 or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov