'Embarrassing' videos, journals taken from home, Steven Powell says

Josh Powell says he had 'nothing to do' with disappearance of his wife, Susan

Published: Saturday, Aug. 27 2011 1:09 a.m. MDT

A makeshift memorial for Susan Powell has been set up at Steven and Josh Powell's home in Washington Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. Powell has been missing since Dec. 6, 2010.

Pat Reavy, Deseret News

PUYALLUP, Wash. — West Valley police say they completed the task they set out to do.

Josh Powell says it was a lot of grandstanding.

West Valley police and Pierce County sheriff's deputies in Washington collected bags and boxes of evidence from the home of Powell and his father, Steven Powell, following a nearly nine hour search Thursday that didn't end until just before midnight.

"We came here with a goal in mind and we accomplished it," said West Valley Police Lt. Bill Merritt.

Josh Powell said the search warrant executed on his home and his vehicles was for his missing wife's childhood journals and any digital information related to her. But he voiced his displeasure Friday at how the search warrant was executed and over what was taken.

"Cooperation is a two-way street," he told the Deseret News at his home Friday. "The way they're treating our family is completely atrocious."

According to Josh Powell, the family offered to turn over Susan Cox Powell's diaries a year ago but police refused. By wanting them now, he believes it shows a change of focus in the police investigation. He believes Susan's diaries will exonerate him once and for all because it will reveal her flirtatious nature.

"I had nothing to do with Susan's disappearance," Josh Powell restated Friday.

A Washington judge on Friday afternoon granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting Steven Powell and the three children who live with him — Josh Powell, Alina Powell and Michael Powell — from publishing or distributing any of Susan Powell's diaries. The motion was filed by Susan's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox.

Josh Powell believes using more than two dozen officers from Utah and Washington to serve the warrant was a bigger "show" than was appropriate. As for taking every computer in the house, Powell said, "That's just nasty of them," noting that he offered to simply give them all of his hard-drives.

"It's a complete and total abuse of power," he said.

The search involved 13 West Valley police officers and 10 from the Pierce County Sheriff's Office. The West Valley officers met late Friday to go over what evidence they collected but had not yet determined when they would return to Utah, Merritt said.

"This is the biggest investigation that anybody in West Valley Police Department has ever seen and probably ever will see," Merritt said, noting that the amount of data investigators have to look through is enormous.

In addition to his daughter-in-law's journals, Steven Powell said potentially "embarrassing" pictures, videos and journals belonging to him were also seized by police.

In what has become a pattern of increasingly odd statements from Steven Powell, he maintained Friday that Susan Powell initiated a pattern of flirting with him and he claims he eventually developed a relationship with her. He didn't expound on that relationship but said his feelings evolved into an "obsession," and he wrote about it in his seized journal.

"There are definitely some things that were inappropriate for a married woman and her father-in-law," he told the Deseret News outside his home in Puyallup. "Frankly, after a long period of time, a year or two of her approaching me and being the one that was really initiating things and trying to titillate me and get my attention, yeah, I became very interested in her."

Steven Powell said he took a lot of photographs and videos of Susan that show "Susan was very much a willing participant in our relationship" and that she craved his attention. He said the photos were "nothing graphic."

But Chuck Cox also maintained Friday that his daughter wanted nothing to do with Steven Powell — and he doesn't believe the public is buying what Steven Powell is saying about his daughter.

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