New documents raise question: Why weren't charges filed against Josh Powell?

Published: Friday, March 30 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Search warrants served in Utah regarding the Susan Powell case remained sealed Friday. Because of that, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill could not comment about the case.

“We’re looking to see what that means for us, but right now we can’t comment on what’s alleged in there because they still continue to be sealed under a court order in our jurisdiction," he said. “I don’t know what, if anybody could say they would have caught Josh Powell. The thing that you need is sufficient evidence to prosecute and to gather that evidence as part of an investigation."

But while Utah authorities remained quiet about specifics into their investigation, a Pierce County judge Friday unsealed two search warrants served at the home of Josh and Steven Powell in Puyallup in 2011. Prosecutors did not contest the unsealing and the court hearing lasted less than one minute.

Although the warrants that were unsealed were in relation to Steven Powell's voyeurism and child pornography charges, it was the information related to Josh Powell and the disappearance of his wife that garnered the most attention.

The original search warrant served in August of 2011 was to retrieve the handwritten diaries of Susan Powell from the home of Josh and Steven Powell.

According to the search warrant affidavit, it took Josh Powell four hours to get home after a panicked neighbor contacted him and told him his wife hadn't shown up for work, even though Josh was in Salt Lake County.

The documents say Josh Powell last used his phone on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009, at 12:14 p.m. when he called his father, Steven Powell. Josh Powell's next mobile phone activity was not until Monday, Dec. 7, at 3:02 p.m. when a neighbor called and asked him where he was. About 30 minutes later, Josh left a voicemail message on his wife's cellphone asking if she needed a ride home from work.

But the warrant states Susan Powell's cellphone was in the center console of the vehicle Josh Powell was driving. It was missing the digital SIM card and Josh Powell did not have an answer as to why his wife's cellphone was in the car. The phone had been turned off.

Josh Powell's sister Jennifer Graves called him at 5:27 p.m. that Monday and asked him where he had been. Josh Powell told her he had been at work.

"When Jennifer Graves told Joshua Powell she knew he was lying, Josh Powell then changed his story, telling her that he was camping," the warrant states.

Police made contact with Josh Powell through Graves' cellphone at 5:45 p.m., but Powell didn't arrive at his residence until 6:40 p.m.

When he arrived, police questioned him about why he wasn't answering his cell phone. Powell told the officer he kept his cell phone turned off to preserve the battery and he didn't have a cell charger.

But the detective noted in his report that he "clearly saw Joshua Powell's phone sitting on the center consul plugged into a cigarette lighter phone charger," the warrant states.

Police found a generator, tarps, a shovel, a gas can and blankets in the vehicle Powell was driving, according to the warrant. He later told authorities he was testing out a new generator, that he thought it was Sunday and didn't call in to work when he realized it was Monday because he was afraid he would be fired.

Inside the house, police found two fans directed at a sofa. Powell said he had just cleaned it on Dec. 6, 2009.

Police also found blood on a tile floor area near a sofa.

"Forensic tests of this blood indicated it was Susan Powell's," the warrant states.

Susan Powell's purse was found in her bedroom with her credit cards, cash, identification and keys undisturbed.

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