Feeds:
Posts
Comments

On Tuesday, December 11, we met at Hunter Library in West Valley City to gather donations for the Christmas Box House, an organization which helps abused and neglected kids taken into state protection. We also made purple ribbons to give away as reminders of Susan and her boys.

IMAG7826

It was a wonderful evening of talking, sharing, reminiscing, and getting to know those who came to help. We made several hundred purple ribbons to pass out at future events.

IMAG7830

We’ve had several ribbon-making events/gatherings in the past three years and have made several thousand ribbons to give away. These ribbons serve as a visible reminder that Susan is still missing, and that domestic violence is very real and a terrible problem that doesn’t need to keep happening. We will be working hard in the coming months and years to promote education and change so there will be fewer victims of domestic violence.

Advertisements

table2  
Purple ribbons at an event for Susan

This week marks the 3-year disappearance of Susan Cox Powell. In Washington, we will be dedicating a beautiful angel statue at the graves of Charlie and Braden.

Utah will also have events to remember and honor Susan.

On Tuesday, December 11, we will be meeting at the Hunter Library in West Valley City from 6-30-8:30 p.m. We will be making purple ribbons to give away and we will collect donations for the Christmas Box House, a wonderful organization that gives a temporary home to abused and neglected children, from babies to 18-year-olds. They have many needs for the children they help. (Here is a list of their current needs.)

We invite everyone to join us at the library that evening. Please stop by and drop off a donation. Anything helps, no matter how small! Please note: the Christmas Box House requests NEW items only, and they currently do not need any blankets, gloves, hats, scarves, stuffed animals, or books. But they have many other needs for children, including clothes, art supplies, gift cards, and more. Even if you don’t have a donation, come visit with us and help us make some ribbons.

Event information

Where: Hunter Library, 4740 West 4100 South, West Valley City, Utah

When: Tuesday, December 11, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

What: Please bring donations for the Christmas Box House, and stay to help us make purple ribbons to remember Susan and her boys.

If you can’t make it on December 11, here is a list of needs for the Ogden and Utah Valley locations of the Christmas Box House.

We hope to see many of you there!

Plans have been in the works for months for a Christmas Box angel statue to be placed at the gravesite of Charlie and Braden Powell. This week the Puyallup City Council approved the plan, and construction at the boys’ grave is now going forward.

We hope the statue’s installation will be finished by December 6. This will be exactly three years since Susan disappeared, and it’s also the date nationwide when candlelight vigils are held at all Christmas Box angel statues.

Here is a photo of the beautiful gravestone that was recently placed at Charlie and Braden’s grave:

Charlie and Braden gravestone by Cecil Daily on FB 
Photo courtesy of Cecil Daily

Big news today! A beautiful new song written from the perspective of Susan and her boys is now available and ready to purchase, TODAY, on iTunes and Amazon.

51uLqu6R8QL._SL500_AA280_

Buy the song on iTunes here.

Buy the song on Amazon here.

All proceeds from the sale of this song will go to to the Susan, Charlie and Braden Memorial Fund, to build a memorial for Susan and her boys. This memorial will help us honor and remember Susan, Charlie and Braden, and to stand as a symbol of hope and the absolute need for change in laws protecting women and children, or any victims of domestic violence.

We are so excited to finally be able to present this song to the world. The song was a beautiful gift from songwriter Camilyn Morrison to her friend, Jennifer Graves. For more about the song’s creation, see this article by the Deseret News.

Jessie Funk, award-winning singer and professional youth speaker, is the beautiful voice you hear on the song. View Jessie’s website here.

You can watch the music video on YouTube here.

Big news this morning: 84 previously-sealed documents dealing with the disappearance of Susan were unsealed and released to the public. The news is just now coming out, so more details on the documents, as well as the documents themselves, will be released later today.

Thanks go to the Salt Lake Tribune for getting these documents released to the public.

So far the story is up on the following news sites:

FOX-13 News, Salt Lake City, who had this to say:

“The documents also reveal that the oldest Powell child told investigators that Susan did go on the infamous camping trip, but he told detectives [his] mother decided to stay at the campsite.”

From King 5 in Seattle:

“As early as two days after Susan Powell was reported missing, authorities in their hometown of West Valley City, Utah, were describing the case as a murder, kidnapping, unlawful detention and obstruction of justice probe, the documents reveal.”

KSL News in Salt Lake said this:

From the earliest stages of their investigation, West Valley police focused on "blood stain patterns" found on the sofa, carpet and floor of the Powell’s West Valley home. In a search warrant affidavit from Dec. 14, 2009, detectives believed "that someone was injured and lost blood while on the sofa inside the residence." Forensics testing later confirmed the blood was Susan Powell’s.

“Detectives also noted in court documents: "There was nothing missing from the residence, there was no signs of forced entry and it didn’t appear there was a robbery, home invasion, burglary or signs of a struggle."

“Also compelling for police were the statements of Josh and Susan Powell’s son Charlie Powell, who was 4 at the time. He told detectives that "his mother had gone with them camping on Sunday and that for some reason she stayed at the campsite and did not return home with them," according to a search warrant affidavit filed the day after Susan Powell was reported missing.”

The Salt Lake Tribune had some really interesting tidbits from the documents, including the following:

* “The last call on Susan Powell’s phone was made at 2:29 p.m. on Dec. 6, 2009, to Jovanna Owings, a friend. Josh Powell called his father at 12:14 p.m. that same day. One affidavit said Steve Powell later said his son had called him for a pancake recipe.

* “during an initial interview Josh Powell said he left the couple’s West Valley City home between 12:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. to go camping near Cedar Fort to test a newly purchased generator.

* “Josh Powell also claimed to not know where his wife was and "did not appear to have any concern at this time for her welfare."

* “In the search of the couple’s van, police found a generator, blankets, a gas can, tarps, circular saw, humidifier, utility knife, latex gloves, rake, sleds, and a shovel.

* “They also found Susan’s cell phone in the center console of the Chrysler Town and Country van. The SIM card was missing.

"’ ‘This phone was off and upon finding it Mr. Powell appeared nervous and could not account for the phone being in the vehicle,’ according to a different affidavit taken from West Valley City Detective Ellis Maxwell.

* “Josh Powell seemed unresponsive when Maxwell told him that Susan Powell’s purse, filled with her credit cards, identification and other personal items, was left in the home. What Maxwell didn’t mention in that interview was that investigators also had found a key to Susan’s secret safety deposit box.”

The Salt Lake Tribune will be posting the 84 documents in their entirety in this article in the next hour or so.

Edited to add: FOX 13 has complete PDFs of all 84 documents here.

From the Seattle Times:

In a report released this morning, the state Children’s Administration found that while social workers like Griffin-Hall demonstrated a high concern for Charlie and Braden, their awareness that Powell was a suspect in his wife’s disappearance should have prompted greater vigilance. The 12-page Child Fatality Review, compiled by a panel of lawyers, a judge, a police officer, social service providers, a psychologist and two state senators, said the Children’s Administration should have tried harder to find out more about the potential threat to the children because of the disappearance of Susan Cox Powell.”

According to the Seattle Times, the report made the following recommendations for future dealings with children:

• If there’s an active criminal investigation involving someone connected with a child dependency case, Children’s Administration should make an effort to consult with law enforcement involved before making any changes in parent/child visitation agreements.

• There needs to be ongoing domestic-violence training for Children’s Administration staff.

• The courts need to articulate its reasons for placing children with a caregiver over the objection of a parent.

• Children’s Administration should reassess visitation agreements and other supervision issues soon after a psychosexual evaluation is issued.

"The message from this report is there are a lot of people reviewing the matter, myself included, who really expected to find fault in some fashion but from my perspective it really wasn’t there," Anderson said. "This is a tragic situation, despite the best efforts of the people involved in the case. There are things to be learned from it, but more it’s a ‘here’s how we can improve on things in the future’."

You can read the entire state report in a sidebar to the Seattle Times’ article, or a direct PDF link here.

Many news sources weighed in on this report today:

KSL News in Salt Lake City

Attorney Anne Bremner, speaking this morning on the Dori Monson show, Seattle

From the Associated Press, as reported by KIRO TV, Seattle

The Salt Lake Tribune spoke with Chuck Cox, who had this to say about the report:

“… That last conclusion drew a strong response from Chuck Cox, the missing woman’s father.

"We told them Josh was capable of killing the children," Cox said. "We had warned them of that very possibility. We told them of our concern that if Josh Powell was cornered and was going to lose the children or be arrested, he would be capable of killing the children and himself. And that is exactly what happened."

Cox said he and his wife Judy shared that concern with caseworkers, psychologists, police and attorneys involved in the case after receiving temporary custody of their grandsons in September 2011.

"They heard us, they knew about it and they chose to dismiss it," he said. "And, as a result, our grandchildren are dead."

…. Cox said that while he believes case workers were doing the best they could and had genuine concern for his grandsons, the child welfare system is flawed because of its focus on reunification of children and parents.

"Pointing fingers is not going to bring the children back," he said, "but perhaps the notoriety of this case will help protect other children and makes changes to focus on the best interests of children."

 

KOMO News and QFOX 13 News in Seattle report that a new non-profit organization, Charlie’s Dinosaur, will be helping foster children.

 
Photo source: QFOX13, Seattle

When kids are taken from neglectful or troubled homes by the state, they often don’t have time to take any of their own belongings. A small group of Pierce County Detectives want to give those kids something to call their own.

Pierce County detectives who knew and loved Charlie and Braden Powell found a large dinosaur drawing made by Charlie, Susan’s oldest son, age 7. They decided to start a non-profit named “Charlie’s Dinosaur” in memory of Charlie and Braden.

They plan to collect donations so they can give away backpacks filled with toys, books, and hygiene items each month to foster children.

From KOMO News:

Thanks to … a handful of Pierce County detectives, Charlie’s Dinosaur was born, and donations helped it grow. Toiletries, toys and books – the essentials and good-to-haves – now fill backpacks for foster children in need. 

"We’re hoping to put out maybe a hundred backpacks a month to children who’ve been placed for either abuse or neglect," says Anderson.

And in the process, they’re honoring two children and helping kids be kids.

From QFOX 13:

Pierce County sheriff’s detective Kevin Johnson and Sgt. Theresa Berg found the drawing of Charlie’s dinosaur when they searched Josh Powell’s storage unit after he killed the boys during a visitation and blew up his home near Graham in February.  

"There were so few items that belonged to the boys that survived anything, so few items that this was kind of precious to us,” Berg said. 

Both Johnson and Berg had spent a lot of time with the Powell boys after Child Protective Services took custody of them from their father.

"These kids were not strangers to us,” Berg said. “They were comfortable with us. They would run to us. We liked them and we played with them."

Investigating their deaths was difficult.

"This was probably the first case like this I can ever remember actually crying afterwards,” Johnson said. “It was tough.”

Out of that anguish came an idea for a charity to help other foster kids.

"A lot of the people that are taken into protective custody don’t have any belongings at all, and if they do, we were told they have to carry them around in plastic garbage bags," Johnson said.

"It tells me that we can do something positive for kids and out of this horrible, horrible thing at least every time I look at it, I know that we’ve done something positive," Johnson said.