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Battle between Cox, Powell families takes national stage

Published: Tuesday, July 7 2015 10:40 p.m. MDT

The newest flier created by the friends and family of Susan Cox Powell was distributed Aug. 21, 2011 in both Utah and Washington. The West Valley woman has been missing since December 2009. (, Kiirsi Hellewell) The newest flier created by the friends and family of Susan Cox Powell was distributed Aug. 21, 2011 in both Utah and Washington. The West Valley woman has been missing since December 2009. (, Kiirsi Hellewell)

SALT LAKE CITY — The ongoing feud between the father of missing Utahn Susan Cox Powell and her husband and father-in-law has now captured the attention of the national media.

Chuck Cox, Josh Powell and Steve Powell all appeared on national news shows Wednesday and Thursday, including ABC News and the "Today" show.

A Washington judge recently ordered Cox, Susan Powell's father, and her husband, Josh Powell, to stay at least 500 feet away from each other.

Thursday, Josh Powell repeated claims on the "Today" show that Cox has "just been going out of his way to bring craziness into our lives." In court documents, Josh Powell said he feared his father-in-law was going to kill him because he blames him for the disappearance of his daughter.

Chuck Cox, father of Susan Powell, speaks at a Ride for Their Lives rally in front of the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Sept. 10, 2010. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) Chuck Cox, father of Susan Powell, speaks at a Ride for Their Lives rally in front of the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Sept. 10, 2010. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

The 28-year-old West Valley mother of two has not been seen since the night of Dec. 6, 2009. Josh Powell remains a person of interest in the case because of his refusal to cooperate with West Valley police in their investigation.

Chuck Cox told the morning TV program that he has never threatened Josh Powell and that the focus right now should be on finding his daughter. He also noted that the attacks from the Powells have been increasing.

Perhaps the most eye-raising comments came from Josh Powell's father, Steve Powell, who claimed he was in love with his son's wife.

"Susan was very sexual with me. She was very flirtatious. I mean, I'm her father-in-law, and she would do a lot of things that, um, she did it. ... We interacted in a lot of sexual ways because Susan enjoys doing that," Steve Powell told ABC News.

Steven Powell, Josh Powell's father, seen on Aug. 18, 2011, has said publicly he believes Susan Powell may have run away with another Utah man who went missing around the same time.  (, , ) Steven Powell, Josh Powell's father, seen on Aug. 18, 2011, has said publicly he believes Susan Powell may have run away with another Utah man who went missing around the same time. (, , )

When asked if he was in love with Susan Powell, he said, "That's pretty likely, yeah, I think so, and there's no question in my mind that the feelings were mutual."

Steve Powell made similar statements on the "Today" show.

"She was very flirtatious and very sexual with people," he said. "Frankly, sometimes I wish we had done a little more than we did."

"I see these attacks as outrageous, cowardly, despicable and not believable in any way and I trust that the media and the public can see right through this," Cox told the "Today" show. "Basically he's trying to blame the victim and my daughter is the victim here."

Friends and family of Susan Powell have recently come forward to say Susan had told them that it was the father-in-law who made inappropriate advances on her. She insisted on moving to Utah because she "despised" her father-in-law and had forbidden him from entering her West Valley home.

Josh Powell, husband of the missing woman Susan Powell, listens at a press conference at West View Park in West Valley City, Utah, as Kirk Graves, brother-in-law of Susan, speaks to the media on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009. He has been called a person of interest in his wife's case because police say he has been uncooperative. (Chen Wang, Deseret News) Josh Powell, husband of the missing woman Susan Powell, listens at a press conference at West View Park in West Valley City, Utah, as Kirk Graves, brother-in-law of Susan, speaks to the media on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009. He has been called a person of interest in his wife's case because police say he has been uncooperative. (Chen Wang, Deseret News)

Many commenters on the Friends and Family of Susan Cox Powell Facebook page had strong reactions to the interviews.

"I'm sorry to say but Josh Powell and his father are sick! How can they do this to the Cox family and even to Susan's and Josh's boys?" one person posted. "I really hope the West Valley police are checking into Steven Powell. He is one strange and sick man."

Another person posted the comment, "I thought I had ill feelings for Josh, but his father is a disgusting PIG! Shame on BOTH of them for their accusation."

"I am sorry, but I have an overwhelming feeling to puke right now after reading such lies!!!" wrote another person.

West Valley police remained tight lipped about the case Thursday, saying they would still like Josh Powell to come in and answer their questions so they can move on with parts of the investigation that have been severely slowed by his lack of cooperation.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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