Search for Susan Cox Powell is over, West Valley police say

Josh Powell's brother believed to have 'intimate involvement' in disappearance

Published: Monday, May 20 2013 1:00 p.m. MDT

"We are on our way back, and anyway, I can't believe, somehow my brain missed a day. I thought today was Sunday. So that was really, really stupid. So hopefully you got to work OK," he said. "We ran into every conceivable problem. Anyway, it was kind of a nightmare."

Susan's mother left three voice mails on her daughter's phone.

"Hey Susan, I'm just worried about you," Judy Cox said. "I'm really worried, we can't find you."

In another voice mail, the caller leaves a message: "Susan, we're all worried sick. We need to hear from you. We've been trying and trying to call."

Almost immediately, the public focused on Josh Powell's odd behavior, as did police.

From the first meeting with police, Josh Powell seemed distracted and flustered, failing to provide specific details about the days and hours before his wife went missing. In police reports, he claimed he was unable to remember what she was wearing, the names of Susan's friends, how far he drove or where he stopped on the supposed midnight camping trip he took with his sons.

When he was first questioned, Josh Powell “didn’t seem too concerned about the fact that Susan was missing,” a police report states. When he was asked, “Do you know where Susan’s at?” Josh’s response was: “Hum,” and later he said “no.”

Detectives wrote several times that Josh Powell showed no concern for his missing wife, never offered to help find her nor asked about their investigation into her disappearance.

“He asked no questions to determine what we were doing to find Susan, nor did he show any emotion whatsoever,” one investigator wrote.

When Josh was interviewed by detectives on Dec 8, 2009, he said he had called a lawyer as he drove to the police station, and was concerned about continuing conversations with officers without an attorney present. He said he felt "in over my head."

"You're in over your head because your wife is missing?" the officer asked.

Josh Powell said he was worried police were trying to "trap him," by taking pictures of his hands.

"You guys have implied some things and so it concerns me," Josh Powell said. "You've implied my hands have some kind of defensive wounds on them."

A detective the next day also noted Powell's seeming fascination with his hands: “The very first thing Josh said and pointed out to me were his hands and how he’d obtained nicks from the dry skin. I looked at his hand and acknowledged this. Josh continued to speak about them and seemed very concerned. … Never once did he mention anything about Susan, what we had done, or offer any suggestions of assistance.”

Search warrants were served on the Powell home and family vehicle on Dec. 8, 2009.

During the time police had possession of Powell's vehicle to search it, he went to the Salt Lake City International Airport to rent a Ford Focus, which he then drove for 807 miles before returning it, according to court documents.

At least two women came forward to police, saying they had had affairs with Josh Powell. One woman called police on Dec. 9, 2011, saying she had been having an affair with Josh for the past two months, since she met him at a comedy club and didn’t know she was married. “Josh told her that his wife died of cancer,” a report states. When officers asked her questions to see if she was being truthful, “She became defensive and eventually disconnected.”

Police were never able to identify the woman. Another woman told detectives, she met Josh Powell through a dating service six to eight months before Susan Powell disappeared. She said used the name “John Staley.” But when police went to her home, she wouldn’t answer the door.

Message to boys

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