PUYALLUP, Washington — The parents of Susan Cox Powell plan to go through Steven Powell's former house with cadaver dogs.
The house where Steven Powell was convicted of taking nude and semi-nude pictures of two young neighbor girls with a telephoto lens is now owned by the victims' family as part of the civil judgment against him. The house is currently vacant.
The family of Susan Powell, the Utah mother who has been missing since 2009, has become friends with the family of the young girls, according to Seattle-based attorney Anne Bremner, the attorney for both families. And now that the girls' family owns the house, they are allowing the Coxes to go through it — no search warrant needed.
"The Coxes have unfettered access thanks to the family of the girls that were victimized," Bremner said. "Search warrants are pretty narrowly tailored and narrowly construed. And to my knowledge there hasn't been a more broad search of the property itself with cadaver dogs or digging or anything like that."
West Valley police, with the assistance of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, served a search warrant on Powell's house in 2011. It was the second time they had searched the Powell house. West Valley Deputy Police Chief Mike Powell called it an "effective," "productive" and "thorough" search. Steven Powell's voyeurism conviction was based largely on the evidence seized from the house.
At the time West Valley police searched Powell's house, Josh Powell was still living in there with this father, along with his sister Alina and brother Michael Powell.
But Bremner said Tuesday that search warrants are narrow in their focus. Now, the Coxes have complete access to the property. She said a private company has agreed to donate its resources, including cadaver dogs, to conduct the search. The Pierce County Sheriff's Office is not involved.
The Coxes and police believe Josh Powell was responsible for his wife's disappearance and likely death. He was never arrested or charged in connection with her disappearance. Josh Powell killed his two sons and himself in 2012.
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