Mayor defends police in Powell case, saying it's easy to second guess

Published: Saturday, March 31 2012 10:36 p.m. MDT

In that scenario, however, the prickly question of jurisdiction comes into play. Washington's agencies weren't investigating Josh Powell for a homicide, so it wasn't their call to make. In addition, West Valley police have repeatedly said they have been handling the case of Susan Powell as a missing person's case. They don't have a body, and no firm answers on where — and if — a homicide took place.

Josh Powell told police he left his wife at home and took the boys camping in the west desert of Utah in sub-zero temperatures the night she went missing. No one has seen or heard from Susan Powell since then, and her family swears she would never have abandoned her children. Several police searches in various parts of Utah have yielded no answers and Josh Powell refused to cooperate in the investigation, moving his family to Washington shortly after his wife disappeared.

Winder said it's easy and tempting to go back and second guess a law enforcement agency, especially through the lens of "what ifs" when it comes to those boys' deaths.

"We all just ache and grieve with the Cox family as we have watched what has unfolded," he said. "But I will tell you this: No one cared more about this case than (Chief) Buzz Nielsen and his officers. They put in many hours and blood, sweat and tears. The last thing they were going to do is make a premature arrest and let someone slip through the fingers of justice."

Contributing: Hunter Schwarz

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