Josh Powell, Susan Cox Powell timeline: Tragic two-year odyssey ends in more tragedy

Published: Sunday, Feb. 5 2012 6:00 p.m. MST

Stromee Ryan and Shayanna Smith along with Powell family friends and well wishers hold a candlelight vigil in Salt Lake County Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012. Josh Powell and his two sons were killed in an explosion in Washington.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News


Afternoon, Sunday, Dec. 6 — Neighbor eats dinner with Josh Powell, Susan Cox Powell and the couple's two children following church services.

12:30 a.m., Monday, Dec. 7 — Josh Powell reports last seeing his wife as she goes to bed and he leaves with children for late-night camping trip in the west desert near Tooele.

Monday, Dec. 7 — Police respond to the couple's West Valley home, 6254 W. Sarah Circle, after Susan failed to show up at work and drop their kids off at daycare.

5 p.m. Dec. 7 — Josh returns home with the boys, is informed the family was feared missing and meets with police.

Dec. 8 — Josh calls Susan's father, Chuck Cox, reports that Susan is still missing and that he is about to be interviewed by police again.

Dec. 9 — Police serve a search warrant on the Powell residence and remove boxes, bags and a computer.

Dec. 10 — Law officers search the Simpson Springs area, but find nothing.

Dec. 10 — Family and friends of Susan — including Josh and their sons — attend a candlelight vigil.

Dec. 11 —Police report that snow hampers their search efforts in the Simpson Springs area of Tooele County. A second candlelight vigil is held.

Dec. 12 — Josh Powell, Chuck Cox and other family members gather outside the LDS Church’s Hunter Central Stake Center to pray, sing hymns and start a 24-hour fast in hopes of Susan Cox Powell's safe return. A tearful Josh Powell does not speak. Chuck Cox says he is concerned about the focus on his son-in-law.

Dec. 14 — Josh Powell hires Utah defense attorney Scott C. Williams and skips a third interview with West Valley City Police. Police confirm that two fans were blowing on a wet spot on the living room floor when they entered the Powells' home on Dec. 7.

Dec. 15 — Josh Powell provides a DNA sample to police.

Dec. 16 — Police label Josh Powell a "person of interest" in his wife's disappearance after an interview.

Dec. 18 — Josh Powell and his sons travel to Puyallup, Wash., to stay in the home of his father, Steven Powell, for the holidays.


Jan. 4, 2010 — Family and friends of Susan launch a social media campaign to spread word of the woman’s disappearance on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Jan. 6 — Josh Powell and his brother, Michael, arrive at the Powell’s West Valley City home to pack the family’s belongings. Friends say Josh Powell, who has been fired from his job, may be unable to keep the home and is moving to Puyallup.

Jan. 27 — Neighbors decorate the Powell home in West Valley City with dozens of purple ribbons, hearts and signs to bring renewed attention to Susan’s case.

Jan. 28 — Josh Powell returns to West Valley City to make home repairs to his property, in order to rent it.

Jan. 29 — West Valley City police serve a search warrant on Josh Powell and seize the blue minivan he drove the night his wife disappeared.

Feb. 15 — Susan's family launches a foundation in the woman's name, allege that Susan was in an "adversarial relationship" with her husband.

April 10 — Volunteers search for Susan in the Simpson Springs area but turn up nothing.

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