Susan Powell is, at the time of writing, a very high profile missing person from Utah, USA. In December 2009 this mother of two boys went missing. She was only 28 years old.
On 6th December 2009 she was seen when she played host to a friend at her home in West Valley City. After that no-one other than those in her household saw her again.
On the 7th her parents became concerned when they could not contact her. The whole family was initially reported as missing. This included Mrs Powell and her husband Joshua along with boys, Charlie and Braden.
Joshua and the boys turned up on the evening of the 7th. He said they had gone for a camping trip the night before. By the time he got to the house the police had forced entry to the home because of concerns for the group’s welfare.
In short Joshua came out with some really suspicious explanations for his movements. He claimed he had left his wife asleep at home when he and the boys went camping. The boys were only four years and two years old at the time and the weather was typical for a Utah winter. Mrs Powell’s credit cards etc were found in the home and her cell phone was located in the family car. The same car that had been used on the trip. There was a wet patch on the couch which had heaters turned to it and Joshua had been due in work that day. He had not scheduled a day off or given any explanation.
The campsite he said he went to could not be located either. Suspicion grew, but the police had no evidence to solidly contradict his story. He relocated his family back to his home area in January 2010. This was in Washington State a full 12 hour drive away.
Later the police confirmed that following Mrs Powell’s disappearance Joshua liquidated much of her assets in short order. This was while she was recently missing. They recovered DNA from the scene that indicated another unidentified person had been there. Most damning was that Charlie had said to teachers that his mother was dead. He also said she had not stayed at home, but had gone on the camping trip yet had not returned. There is also accounts that say Joshua had discussed the feasibility of hiding a body in one of hundreds of Utah mines.
The Less Than Stable Family Background
Joshua Powell’s home life as a child and young person was not good. Not only did he have a strange upbringing he showed signs of severe dysfunction. He is reported to have killed small animals and threatened his mother with a knife. There is also mention of a couple of suicide attempts.
The most striking indication as to how messed up things were was that his father stalked his new bride when they lived in Washington. In part because of this they moved to West Valley City. The man would record Susan and film her all the time. He is said to have told her he had feelings for her. His surveillance included trying to film her when she was in the bathroom.
Later Steven Powell would serve time for voyeurism and child pornography. Some of the video the police found included film of Susan taken without her knowledge. He died in July 2018.
A War Of Words
The Powell family and the Cox family ( Susan’s folks) basically sparred from the time of Susan’s disappearance. The police searched Powell property and allegations were made against Susan. These mainly revolved around a theory that she had been infatuated by others and may have run away with another man. The situation was hostile.
Joshua faced evaluations as to his parenting skills which seem to have followed the shady activities of his father and pornography found during police searches. From what I can understand his father had used Joshua’s computer. Indecent images that were found on the device were believed to be Steven’s. I guess logically there had to be some suspicion Joshua was involved. Hence there was reluctance to allow Joshua to have unsupervised custody of his sons.
Still, despite digging in old mine shafts and other attempts to gather evidence Susan Powell remained missing without trace.
On 5th February 2012 a social worker took the boys to see their father. His house was in Graham, Washington only a twenty minute drive from the turbulent family home in Puyallup. She was to stay with them, this was a supervised visit. Joshua let the boys in and then shut her out. A moment later the house was subject of an explosion. Joshua had killed himself and his two sons.
In one account the catalyst was that Susan’s parents had legally gained custody. However, a lawyer for the Powell family is quoted as saying the boys had started to talk more about the night their mother disappeared. At least the older one had said that his mother had been riding in the trunk and then his parents went away. When his father returned his mother did not.
To add to the horror the boys had been attacked by this creature with a hatchet. This so called father had contacted family and friends by email to say goodbye moments before he died.
I had heard of the case a while back but had not appreciated the drive to find Susan Powell. I watched a YouTube documentary of one of the searches. You can get the link by clicking here.
I wish all that are still seeking this lady the best of good fortune.