Susan Powell

When Susan Powell went missing in December 2009, police discovered her phone in her husband’s car and her blood in their home, but Josh Powell killed himself and their two young sons before the case could be solved.

Disappearance of Susan Powell

Susan Powell appeared to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. She was a full-time broker at Wells Fargo and had a young family in West Valley City, Utah, with an outwardly loving husband and two young boys. However, on December 6, 2009, Susan Powell vanished, and police began to suspect that her husband, Josh Powell, was anything but loving.

When Susan Powell failed to show up for work on December 7, police conducted an investigation and questioned her husband. He claimed to have spent the night camping with their children. Police discovered Susan’s phone in his car, SIM card removed, alongside shovels, tarps, gas canisters, and a generator.

They even discovered Susan Powell’s secret will, which she had hidden away in a safe deposit box. “If I die, it may not be an accident,” it said. Even if it appears to be one.”

By 2012, however, the evidence was mounting, and Josh Powell committed suicide, setting fire to the house and locking the doors. Susan Powell has been missing since 2009.

The Falling Apart Of Two Young Lovers’ Marriage

Susan Powell (née Cox), who was born in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on October 16, 1981, was brought up in Puyallup, Washington. She first met Josh Powell when she was 18 years old and studying cosmetology.

Josh and Susan Powell attended an Institute of Religion course for which he hosted a dinner and were devout members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Josh made a proposal soon after.

On April 6, 2001, the couple exchanged vows at the Portland Oregon LDS Temple. They then moved in with Steven, Josh’s dad, in the South Hill neighborhood close to Puyallup, where Susan was the target of his advances. Before admitting his obsession in 2003, Steve secretly filmed her for a year while stealing her underwear on a regular basis.

Susan Powell
Susan and Josh Powell with Charles (right) and Braden (left).

Both When Josh and Susan Powell relocated to West Valley City, Utah, in 2004, they felt relieved. But she had no idea that Josh had been possessive in a previous relationship. Due to Josh’s actions, ex-girlfriend Catherine Terry Everett nearly left the state to break up with him over the phone.

Josh was in between jobs, while Susan was occupied with her kids and her new job as a broker. In 2005 and 2007, she gave birth to two sons, Charles and Braden, but soon after, her marriage began to suffer from Josh’s extravagant spending and Josh’s tendency to side with his father whenever the subject of his obsession came up.

With debts totaling more than $200,000, Josh filed for bankruptcy in 2007. Josh was threatening to leave the country and file a lawsuit if Susan decided to divorce him, according to a covert will Susan wrote in June 2008. She even captured video of the property damage he caused on July 29, 2008.

Inside Susan Powell’s Disappearance

Susan took her children to church on December 6, 2009. The last person to see her outside of the Powell family would be a neighbor who stopped by in the afternoon. The next morning, Susan’s kids failed to show up for daycare, and neither Josh nor Susan could be reached by the staff.

The daycare staff informed Josh’s mother and sister of the kids’ absence by giving them a call. The police were then called by Josh’s mother.

Around 10 a.m. on December 7, West Valley City Police Detective Ellis Maxwell visited the Powell family’s residence and observed that Susan’s belongings were present, there were no indications of forced entry, and two fans were blowing at a wet spot on the carpet.

Josh claimed to have gone camping when he arrived home with his kids at 5 o’clock. His kids concurred that they had.

Susan Powell
Susan Powell and Josh Powell married six months after they first met when she was 18 and he was 25.

Josh, on the other hand, told detectives that he had no idea why Susan’s phone was in his car. Investigators were alarmed by the number of tools found in the vehicle, as well as the fact that Josh had taken his children camping on a school night during freezing temperatures.

However, in the absence of a body, the Salt Lake County district attorney refused to charge anyone in the Powell family in connection with Susan Powell’s disappearance.

Josh rented a car on December 8 and drove 800 miles before returning it to the Salt Lake City Airport on December 10. However, on December 9, police discovered blood containing Susan’s DNA on their carpet. They discovered her handwritten documents in her safety deposit box on December 15.

“I have been experiencing extreme marital stress for the past three to four years,” she wrote. “I believe a paper trail is necessary for my and my children’s safety.” He’s threatened to flee the country and said there will be lawyers if we divorce.”

Back at school, Charles informed his teacher that his mother had joined him on the camping trip but had died. Braden drew three people in a van and informed his daycare provider that “mommy was in the trunk.” In the meantime, police discovered Josh had liquidated Susan Powell’s IRA.

Josh Powell’s Insane Murder-Suicide

Steven Powell was arrested in 2011 for child pornography and voyeurism.

That same month, Josh and Susan Powell’s children returned to Puyallup to live with his father, Steven. However, a search warrant executed on Steven’s home turned up child pornography, for which he was arrested in November 2011. Josh lost custody of his children to Susan’s parents and was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation, including a polygraph test, in February 2012.

However, on February 5, at 12:30 p.m., social worker Elizabeth Griffin brought his children over for a supervised visit. But as soon as the kids got inside, Josh locked the door. He then slashed his children with an axe, doused them in gasoline, and set fire to the house.

He’d sent his attorney a single-line email moments before: “I’m sorry, goodbye.”

After being released from prison, Steven Powell died of natural causes. On February 11, 2013, Josh’s brother Michael, whom investigators suspected of being a possible accomplice, jumped off a building. Susan’s parents were awarded $98 million by Washington State in July 2020 for negligence in the deaths of their grandchildren.

And to this day, Susan Powell has never been found.

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