Posts Tagged ‘Fox 13’

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.


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The West Valley City Police Department, along with help and volunteers from eight other Utah counties, spent 12 days searching  Utah’s remote desert areas around Topaz Mountain near Delta, Utah.  The search officially began on Tuesday, September 13.

On Wednesday (day 2) they discovered an area that appeared to be some type of “shallow grave.”  11 cadaver dogs “hit” on this area, indicating that some type of human remains was buried there.

Police brought in an anthropologist to see if the area was an old burial site—possibly a pioneer, or maybe Native American.  The anthropologist said the site was more recent: probably anywhere from the past 2 months to 10 years.

Police began excavating the site, with a forensics team carefully sifting through each shovelful of dirt for any type of suspicious matter.  By late Saturday afternoon, they discovered what the dogs were interested in: approximately 100 pieces of charred wood ranging in size from dimes to golf balls.  This wood was buried about 2 1/2 feet below the surface.  The wood pieces were sent to a forensic lab for analysis.

Chuck Cox, Susan’s father, arrived on Thursday, day 3 of the search, to see the area for himself and to support police in their efforts.  He flew back on Wednesday morning, September 21, to prepare for a court hearing.

The search continued on Sunday with help from 5 Utah counties…personnel and search and rescue (SAR) teams on foot, ATV, horseback, plane and helicopter scoured the desert in specific grid patterns, looking for any sign of Susan Cox Powell. 

Monday morning three more counties joined the search

The search officially ended on Friday, September 23.  Police found various items of clothing, which were photographed and sent to labs for analysis.  They said the search was “successful” and “accomplished what [they] set out to do.” 

Susan’s family and friends want the West Valley Police Department, the SAR personnel, the volunteers, the horseback riders, the pilots, the cadaver dogs and their handlers and everyone who was involved in this search to know how deeply grateful we all are for their determination to find Susan.  We have full confidence that the WVPD will find Susan, solve this case, and bring us the answers we so desperately need.

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