Archive for April, 2010

Susan learned the rudimentary basics of crochet from a former co-worker at Fidelity Investments, her first stockbroker job.  She made herself a multicolored scarf and wore it a lot before she made other things.

I remember one day, a few months after I met her, when she told me she was learning to crochet and was having problems with it.  I helped her with her project and that was the start of hundreds of hours of crocheting fun for us—talking, laughing, and watching movies together as we crocheted. 

She loved to crochet and spent many, many hours making baby blankets for friends, fellow church members, or co-workers.  When she was invited to baby showers she liked to take handmade gifts to show her love and friendship.  She invented her own patterns for hats and made one for each of her boys.

When she disappeared, she was working on a blanket for Braden, her youngest son.  It was yellow and orange and she was making it quite big so he could have it for many years.  One of the yarns for this blanket tangled easily and that’s why Susan invited her friend JoVonna over to her house the afternoon of Sunday, December 6, 2009.  She knew JoVonna was an expert yarn de-tangler and she wanted JoVonna’s help with the knotted yarn so Susan could continue making Braden’s blanket. 

JoVonna was the last person (besides Josh) to see Susan. 

One thing Susan made several years ago was a long stuffed toy snake.  She had been instrumental in helping me figure out how to make the same snake years before, when I was new to following crochet patterns and had never made anything round before.  (She hadn’t, either, but we both read the pattern and somehow figured it out together.)

It appears the pattern we used for our snakes is no longer on the web, but here are many similar crocheted snake patterns.

The now-defunct pattern featured this picture:

From the currently non-working Yarncat.com

Susan’s snake looked quite similar to that, but I can’t remember the exact colorway of yarn she used. 

Here is an excerpt from an e-mail Susan sent me about finishing this snake:

Thursday, December 15, 2005 9:00 AM

“Finished the snake and even added my own version of a tail, I chained 2 and went back over it, it was my dad’s idea.  Charlie loved playing with it and pulling the tongue.  I’m contemplating making one for him but adding some type of bendy thing as I stuff it so that it will keep a shape. What do you think?”

I made this scarf as a birthday gift for Susan a couple of years ago.  She wore it all winter long.  I didn’t even know at the time that I’d chosen her favorite colors, either.

I didn’t see this scarf when I was packing up Susan’s clothes when Josh took everything and moved to Washington.  If I had, I would’ve asked Josh if I could have it.  I can picture Susan so easily with her sweet smile and her scarf around her neck.


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Witnessing the first public large-scale ground search for Susan Cox Powell in the west desert last Saturday was an amazing experience.  Here’s the rundown of news—articles, pictures, and video clips from Saturday’s search:

KUTV-2 news—reporter Chris Jones was at the search.

Brent Hunsaker with ABC-4 was also there.

Here’s KSL-5’s excellent video, picture gallery and article from Alex Cabrero.

Click here for FOX-13’s report.

Local newspapers the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News have their accounts and photo galleries as well (note: the Deseret News article has a couple of inaccuracies).

Apr10 para ATV

Powered parachute over the waiting ATVs at Simpson Springs

As always, Isabelle Zehnder with Examiner.com has written several really good articles about the search, with picture slideshows and information not shown anywhere else.  Her articles:

Search—initial search report and first pictures

Search—report of 2 search dog findings

Search—leaders of the search share thoughts, details, and pictures

Search—this article discusses how the search had a positive outcome, even though it didn’t find Susan.

The desert search wasn’t the only Saturday activity that made the news.  In Washington, Chuck and Judy Cox were finally allowed to see their grandchildren—Susan’s boys, Charlie and Braden.  Josh Powell agreed to let Susan’s parents go to a local park and visit with the boys there.  You can read Brent Hunsaker of ABC-4’s thoughts on this visit, here.

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Four months ago today, Susan Cox Powell disappeared from her home. 

Her family and friend’s lives were shattered.  We never believed this could happen to someone we know—especially Susan, a person who lights up people’s lives and makes everyone smile when she walks into a room.  Everyone loves her.

We never believed it would drag on this long and that four months later, we still wouldn’t have answers or that Susan would still be missing.

But there’s still hope—hope that we will find her.  We believe we will.  We know the police are working day and night to bring her home, and that many thousands of kind and wonderful people the world over are praying and putting time, effort and money into finding her.  As I write this, plans are in place to mount a large-scale ground search in Utah’s west desert this Saturday.

Photography by Amber Hardman/Hardman Photography; digital art by Quail Feathers

Today—both four months since Susan went missing and what would have been Susan’s 9-year wedding anniversary—I’d like to share a little bit about Susan and what kind of person she is.  This comes from a church newsletter in Susan’s ward, written in November 2009, just one month before she disappeared.  The ladies did an interview “Spotlight” on her as they often do with one or the other of the women in our ward to help everyone get to know each other better.  Here it is:

Spotlight: Susan Powell

Susan is the third of four girls and was raised in western Washington state.  She and Josh got married in 2001 and moved to Utah in 2004.  She has two sons, Charlie and Braden.

Her favorite foods are Greek and Italian.  Popcorn and spaghetti are like chocolate to her.  Her food philosophy is “Cheese, peanut butter, ranch dressing or A-1 sauce makes anything taste good.”

Her favorites are: color = forest green, lavender/lilac purple; songs = “I Don’t Understand,” “Which Part is Mine” and “Celebrating the Light” by Michael McLean; books = anything murder/mystery, especially Mary Higgins Clark; movies = Enchanted, Get Smart, and most Disney movies.

Her hobbies are: crocheting, doing yard work, cleaning, doing hair, American Sign Language, yoga and pilates.

Her favorite places to go are Washington state to see her family and to be outside hiking and camping.  She would love to go to Hawaii with her husband.

She is a licensed series 7 and 63 stockbroker, real estate agent and cosmetologist.  She highly believes in saving money by growing a garden and becoming more self-sufficient with your food storage.

Photography by Paula Bunn/Sweden Studios & Amber Hardman/Hardman Photography; digital art by Melissa Pepper

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A sweet and kind Florida woman—someone who never met Susan but has proven a true friend to her these past months since she’s disappeared—has done many kind acts during her life, most recently in Susan’s name, despite going through personal tragedy of her own during this time.

In Linda’s words:

March 24: Donation made today in the name of the Susan Cox Powell Foundation for 50+ beanie babies.  Donation given to the traffic division of Lauderhill, FL police department. This is our 2nd donation. The first was to the Coral Springs, FL police department. They were very gracious:

linda beanie babies



Linda suggests that people everywhere can donate beanie babies to their police departments. She says, “We have been doing this for years… Before beanie babies we made hug-a-bears….this might be a good project for the teenagers so they can get their community service hours for college applications.”

Thank you, Linda, for your kind and thoughtful service in Susan’s name!  And huge thanks to the Lauderhill, Florida Police Department for their service to those in need.
linda beanie babies2


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The group of Cache County people who organized the upcoming Simpson Springs ground search for Susan on April 10 have closed the search to the public.

Here is the group’s press release:

April 10 Ground search effort for Susan Cox Powell
Jon Watkins, Chief of Bridgerland Fire Company

Cache County, Utah (April 2, 2010) – The outpouring of support from the public and from professionals for the April 10 ground search for clues into Susan Cox Powell’s disappearance has been greatly appreciated. While appreciative of the search efforts, the Susan Cox Powell Foundation, her family and her friends, are not affiliated with the search.

Organizers of the search have also received an overwhelming response from trained professionals with offers to help. Some are experienced search and rescue teams while others have firefighting, medical, law enforcement, and military experience.

All of those professionals who have come forward to volunteer their time, equipment, and expertise would not pass up the opportunity to help a fellow citizen. Tooele County Sheriff’s Department and West Valley City Police Department, among others, have expressed concerns in regard to a large-scale volunteer ground search in the West Desert. Among concerns raised are safety, logistical, liability issues, the possible destruction of evidence, searchers becoming lost or injured, searchers encountering wildlife, parking issues, spotty cell phone reception, and no medical facility within 50 miles, among other concerns.

The liability issue raised concerns for everyone involved and prompted search organizers to re-evaluate and eventually cede command of the search to qualified professionals. In response to those concerns the April 10 search for Susan Powell will now be conducted by a group of certified and trained professionals capable of carrying out a sophisticated search.

It has been determined that a smaller, more manageable search would be safer and more effective. For this reason we are no longer asking for the support of the general public in the ground search. We regret that the search is now closed to the public. We are very appreciative of everyone who has shown their willingness to help and hope they continue to show their support in what is best for finding Susan.

Only professionally certified organizations with proper identification and pre-approval from the search organizers will be allowed to participate in the search. It is our hope that a skilled approach to searching will bring quicker results and will encourage other professionals to consider assisting in the search.

If your certified organization would like to help with the search, please e-mail the Incident Commander, Jon Watkins at bridgerlandfire@hotmail.com. Those who would like to donate resources or money to the qualified professionals now conducting the search, may e-mail us at searchdonations@hotmail.com.

We are very appreciative of everyone who has shown their willingness to help. We ask that you keep Susan, her family, and the many trained professionals who will be combing the on April 10 in your thoughts and prayers.


Reactions to this news are mixed.  Brent Hunsaker of ABC-4 wrote an excellent article about the difficulties and feelings surrounding this search. 

Good tips have come in the past through things like the social media blitz the first week of January and other avenues.  Here’s some alternatives for the general public on April 10.

As always, Susan’s family and many friends are so grateful and thankful for every prayer, kind thought, and deed for Susan or her family.   

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