Share this article

print logo

Family clashes on Utah mom's disappearance

Two years after a Utah mother vanished, her case has spiraled into a salacious saga of finger-pointing and accusations of sex and lies between two sparring families.

Susan Cox Powell was last seen by her husband Dec. 6, 2009, in her West Valley City home outside Salt Lake City. She was reported missing the next day when she didn't show up for work. Police say her husband, Josh Powell, is the only person of interest in the case, although he's never been arrested.

Thursday, Investigators searched the home Josh Powell shares with his father, Steve Powell, seeking new clues in the disappearance.

The perimeter was blocked by yellow police tape, and several law enforcement officers stood in the yard. Authorities from both Washington and Utah set up command centers outside as some sheriff's deputies entered and exited wearing disposable gloves.

The search came the same day the Powells separately went on national television to discuss the case, taking the saga to tawdry new levels. The father-in-law says he and the missing woman had a flirtatious relationship and that he believed they were in love.

Josh Powell's family also claims Susan Cox Powell was sexually promiscuous, emotionally unstable and suicidal -- offering as proof several diary pages from the missing woman's teenage years.

Josh Powell, who now lives with family in Puyallup, Wash., has mostly remained quiet throughout the investigation, but in a string of national television interviews Thursday, he denied killing his wife or having anything to do with her disappearance.

"I would never even hurt her," a tearful, red-eyed Josh Powell told CBS' Early Show. "People who know me know that I could never hurt Susan."

Josh Powell, who still wears his wedding ring, said he loves his wife. He said she came from an emotionally abusive home with controlling, manipulative parents.

In an interview on ABC's Good Morning America, Steve Powell said he and Susan Cox Powell were falling in love and implied that a sexual relationship had occurred.

"Susan was very sexual with me," he said. "We interacted in a lot of sexual ways because Susan enjoys doing that."

Her father, Chuck Cox, says all the allegations are false and claims it was Steve Powell who initiated unwanted sexual advances and that his daughter had no interest in her father-in-law.

Chuck Cox told the AP that his daughter claimed years ago that "something had happened" with Steve Powell that made her uncomfortable. He said she didn't disclose the details.

"She said something about Steve had wanted her to be a common wife for him and Josh," Chuck Cox said. According to him, when Susan discussed the remark with Josh, he dismissed it as part of his father's penchant for saying outrageous things.

Chuck Cox has never said he believes his son-in-law is responsible for Susan's disappearance but wants him to be more forthcoming with police, who claim Josh Powell hasn't been cooperative.

There are no comments - be the first to comment