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

Published: Friday, March 30 2012 9:23 p.m. MDT

On Dec. 8, 2009, Josh Powell rented a car at Salt Lake City International Airport after police seized his family's van. When he returned it, it had 800 miles on it. He also purchased a new cellphone that was activated in Tremonton, the warrant states. Police still don't know where Powell took the vehicle to rack up so many miles.

Days later, Josh Powell called the daycare provider for the couple's two children and told her the children were not coming back "and she probably will not ever see them again." He canceled all of Susan Powell's future appointments with her chiropractor and provided a power of attorney to Wells Fargo that allowed him to empty Susan Powell's IRA accounts.

Josh Powell was also the beneficiary of several life insurance policies on his wife totaling $1.5 million, the warrant states.

When Josh Powell was interviewed by police, they said he was not cooperative. He voluntarily surrendered his cell phone, but the SIM card containing vital data was missing, Mike Powell said.

"We believe Josh intentionally removed that SIM card from the cell phone," he said Friday.

Other information revealed in the warrant:

• The last phone call made or received from Susan Powell's cellphone was at 2:29 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009, when she called a friend. She was last seen at 5 p.m. by a friend whom she told that she was going to bed because she felt tired after eating a meal prepared by Josh.

• One month after Susan went missing, the couple's oldest son, 4-year-old Charlie Powell, told a primary teacher "my mom is dead." Charlie also told an investigator that his mom went camping with them, but didn't come home. He did not know why.

• Police found a safe deposit box containing a letter Susan Powell had written to her family dated January 2008 that said she did not trust her husband and that "if (she) die(s) it may not be an accident, even if it looks like one." The letter, which Susan had written she did not want Josh Powell to see, was titled: "Last Will and Testament for Susan Powell," according to police.

She asks in the letter that if something were to happen to her, Graves should be contacted.

"Susan did not trust Josh at all," Mike Powell said.

Graves on Friday said Susan had been talking about divorcing Josh Powell in 2008.

“She wanted to make sure that I had some stuff in case anything ever happened to her, I'd have something to go on," she said.

As for the new information released Friday, “I'm kind of past the point of being shocked about anything, it was just another layer,” Graves said.

Yet, she admitted the new information was "another blow. There were details that I hadn't heard about."

The blood found on the tile, however, was one of those details Graves had not known.

"I think it's pretty clear in everybody's mind that Josh has done this and he's now killed himself and his children. I don't think he would have done that without making sure she's finished off, too," she said.

"Obviously all along it was enough for me. It was enough for me because I knew he was guilty all along," Graves said. "But does that mean it would have been enough for a jury to convict him? I don’t know."

The warrant also outlined the contempt Susan Powell had for her father-in-law, Steven Powell.

"Susan states how she does not want Steven Powell involved in her life, her children's life and how she wishes Joshua Powell would eliminate Steven Powell from his life," the warrant states.

West Valley Police Chief Thayne "Buzz" Nielsen gave a press statement to the media Friday afternoon before leaving the room without taking questions. While he said he recognized there was great public interest in the case, he described the Susan Powell case as still "active" and one that needs to remain confidential in some areas.

Defense attorney Greg Skordas, a former prosecutor, believes West Valley police were very close to filing charges.

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