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Archive for June, 2010

With the warmer weather comes the inevitable—more and more bodies are being found in the Salt Lake valley and surrounding areas.

Every time we get one of these reports, our hearts drop.  We teeter on the brink of wild emotions—hope that it’s not Susan, hope that it is.  We want her to be alive but we also want her found and if she is no longer with us, we need to find her and catch those responsible.

A body was discovered by a worker at a potash plant near Wendover last Tuesday.  Yesterday, another body was found in Red Butte Creek near the University of Utah campus.  Crews were working to clean up the Chevron oil spill and found the body in some debris.  You can read the local media stories here: KSL, ABC-4, KUTV2, FOX13, the Salt Lake Tribune, and the Deseret News.

[UPDATE June 22: The Red Butte Creek body has been identified.  We are still waiting for word on the one discovered by the potash plant.]

Shelby Gifford, the Cox family spokesperson, posted this statement last night on the Friends and Family of Susan Powell Facebook group:

On behalf of the Cox family, thank you for your kind words of love and support on this very difficult Father’s Day. Like you, we’ve become aware of an unidentified body found in Red Butte Creek in Utah today. We have been in touch with investigators and have been assured that they will notify us once a determination has been made regarding the gender and age of the body. We will let you know what we find out as soon as we can. Thanks again for your concern for this wonderful family. We are grateful for you.

Chuck Cox, Susan’s father, had this to say late last night:

It has been a very hard day for me, personally. Every family I see, with young women headed for college or a young mother seemed to bring me a wave of grief. It is very hard to explain, I pray Susan is still alive. It helps to know that many people support her and her family. It is so sad that in just a few days, 2 bodies have been discovered. Every body found that isn’t Susan leaves the possibility that she is alive and will return. But it means some other family has lost a loved one. I know that Heavenly Father will answer our prayers. Thank you all for your support.

On Thursday a billboard went up in Salt Lake City.  It is located on highway 201, and you can see it if you are heading east-bound, just east of the 8000 West stoplight near Magna and West Valley City.

 
Photo: courtesy Glenda Ryser

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This press release from the Cox family was just published this afternoon:

PRESS RELEASE 06/12/2010
2:30 PM PST
Contact: Shelby Gifford, Cox Family spokesperson
253.255.1624 Shelby@theshelbynetwork.com

SUBJECT: Susan Cox Powell Billboard Installed in Puyallup Area

The family of Susan Cox Powell is pleased to announce that a billboard featuring information about their missing loved one has been installed on Washington’s State Route 161 near the home of Susan’s parents, Chuck and Judy Cox. The billboard features information about Susan and a photograph of her that was taken by her father.

“The purpose of the billboard is to remind the public that Susan is still missing. We continue to look for her and we are asking for the public’s help with that,” said Chuck Cox, Susan’s father.

“Susan’s story has been kept alive with the help of local, national and social media, and the Cox family is especially grateful to Clear Channel for their contribution to the search for Susan,” added Shelby Gifford, Cox Family Spokesperson.

In February, Susan’s family announced the formation of the Susan Cox Powell Foundation (www.susancoxpowellfoundation.org) which is dedicated to helping others bring their missing loved ones home. The Susan Cox Powell Foundation’s motto is “Hope – Pray – Help” and Susan’s family and friends are committed to using every resource to accomplish its mission.

Photographs of the billboard, which is located on SR 161 (Meridian Avenue East in Puyallup’s South Hill area) between 176th Street East and 187th Street East, are attached to this emailed press release.

At least one additional billboard will be installed in the Salt Lake City, Utah area in the next week.

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Photo courtesy Laurie Nielson

No one on earth should have to go through this—but so many people do.

No one on earth should have to miss their loved one…have them disappear without a trace…endure months and months of agony and heartbreak and waiting and not knowing.


Hardman Photography

Far too many people have to go through this.  You never think it can happen to someone you love until the nightmare becomes reality.

Today, Susan Cox Powell has been gone for six months.


Photo courtesy Andrea Thomas

Six months ago at this time (10:30a.m. Mountain time) she and her two little boys, Charlie and Braden, were at church enjoying a wonderful service.  It was the bi-annual “stake conference” where several congregations gathered in one building to hear words of counsel from church leaders.

Susan stayed in the nursery room with her boys, so they could play with toys while she listened to the talks being piped in over the intercom.

As my family and I walked home from church with her, she talked about how glad she was that Charlie and Braden played quietly so well and let her listen to the talks, and how much she enjoyed them.  There was nothing to suggest that this would be the last time I would ever see her.

How I wish I’d invited her in for an impromptu lunch.  I was going to, but then I thought “My house is a disaster today…didn’t get around to cleaning it this weekend.  I’ll have her over in a couple of days on her next day off.”  We had both been so busy that it had been a while since we really got to sit down and talk, like we so loved to do.

I wish I’d hugged her.  I wish I’d told her I loved her one more time, and how much I valued her friendship. 

I didn’t know it was the last time I would see her.  I didn’t know the horror that awaited all of us just a few short hours away, when Debbie, her daycare provider, started calling her emergency contacts because Charlie and Braden didn’t show up at daycare the next morning.

I didn’t know we would still be here, six months later, with no answers.  I didn’t know that her sweet and innocent boys would be without the center of their universe—their mother—for 6 months.  I didn’t know that her husband, the person she trusted and loved, would refuse to cooperate with police, move away from her home, and do nothing to help find her.

 
Susan and her boys’ hands by Hardman Photography; photo art by Brandi Gremler

Today, I hope everyone holds their loved ones a little closer.  Tell the people you care about that you love them—often.  Make time to send that email, write that note, take a friend out for lunch or go on a walk with your family.  Do a random act of kindness for someone.  Give a hug to someone who might not get one today.  Thank God for your blessings.

 
Photo courtesy of Patty Fothergill

Susan would be overwhelmed with the outpouring of love, caring, service, and kindness on her behalf by thousands of total strangers all over the world.  She would love knowing that good things have come out of this tragedy—people pulling together from all walks of life, people being helped, people renewing faith. 

Let’s remember Susan today and every day.  Please wear a purple ribbon for her and if you are so inclined, pray for her and her family.  We know we will find her; answers will come; the guilty will be brought to justice, no matter how long it takes. 

 
Ribbon by Allyson Holmgren

We love you, Susan.

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The leader of the upcoming June 25 search, Chris Willden, director of Strategic Tactical Group, posted the following information this week:

“The class [for the general public to be certified to search] has been condensed to 1 day, Saturday June 19, 2010 at Granger Park (the South-West corner of 3500 South and 3600 West, next to Granger High School) in West Valley City, UT. It starts at 9:00 AM. Please bring a notebook and something to write with.

“If you haven’t already done so, please email search organizer, Chris Willden, at: training@strategictacticalgroup.com so you will be added to the list for the class and search.

“THANKS for your willingness to help in the June 25th search!!!” 

Chris is still looking for volunteers to help search—either trained personnel with a background in military/fire/medical/police, or the general public who will be trained with the one-day class.  Class cost is $10.  Chris is a great guy with a lot of experience who was hugely instrumental in the Simpson Springs search on April 10.  So if you want to help with this search, please e-mail Chris right away. 

 

Also, for those who aren’t able to physically search, any donations would be welcomed by Chris and his team to help provide food, water, supplies, and gas for the searches. 

 

DONATIONS FOR THE SEARCH:

Donations are requested to provide food, water and other needed supplies for the Susan Cox Powell search teams. You can contribute any amount via:

Paypal: sales@strategictacticalgroup.com. (Please include the message that your donation is for the Susan Cox Powell search group).

Mail:
Strategic Tactical Group LLC
689 South Main
Bountiful, UT 84010
(Please indicate your donation is for the Susan Cox Powell search).

Thank you for your help and support to find Susan!

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Though there hasn’t been a lot of news or progress on Susan’s case lately, several articles and bits of news have recently surfaced:

* A new article in People magazine came out last week highlighting Susan and her story (the June 7 issue…story on page 90).  More details about this article here.

* Josh Powell’s website, susanpowell.org, unveiled three new sub-pages in the last three weeks: “Volcano Week,” “Mother’s Day” and “Six Months.”  These pages have caused an uproar as people all over the world universally despise their content.

* On the positive side, a kind woman halfway across the world from where Susan lived started a Virtual Postcard campaign.  This is for anyone, anywhere in the world to send a comment to Susan, her family, her sons, or Josh.  Please consider visiting this site and leaving a comment in support of Susan. 

* A blogger posts some astute observations on Josh’s actions and website, here and here.

* Local Salt Lake City media stations are doing stories this week about the fast-approaching 6-month mark of Susan’s disappearance.  Stories aired today on KSL and ABC-4.

Susan Cox Powell Photo by Hardman Photography; flowers and photo arrangement by Quail Feathers; lyrics by Susan’s favorite artist, Michael McLean

Susan is still missing.  Her family and friends greatly appreciate every prayer, kind thought, and search effort people have done and are doing.  We know she will be found and justice will be served.

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