Posts Tagged ‘WVPD’

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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Thursday was a big news day in Susan’s case.  Thursday morning Josh and Steve Powell gave interviews on the major national morning news shows.  Thursday afternoon about 2 dozen police and detectives—some from Pierce County, Washington and some from West Valley City, Utah—handed Josh Powell a search warrant.  The police then spent about 8 hours searching his father, Steve Powell’s, house.

Here are some news stories and articles about the search:

KUTV-2 news in Salt Lake City, with a possible reason for the search; also a more in-depth look at who exactly is Steven Powell

Report from CBS News, and another article here

This is an excellent article with lots of detail from the Salt Lake Tribune.  West Valley Police Department said they found “everything they were looking for” in the search, and would take it back to Utah to process.

KSL has an article and video with a lot of detail as well, including Steve Powell saying he was upset that police took HIS journals.  He also said that he offered Susan’s childhood journals to police last year—but only in exchange for her adult journal:

“Susan’s adult journal was already seized early in the investigation, according to Steven Powell. He claimed he had been offering to turn Susan’s childhood journals over to police for some time — but only in exchange for the adult journal.

"They refused our offer," he said. "It was a pretty important thing for us to have." “

The police responded by saying they don’t make bargains with potential evidence.

Here’s an article from the Deseret News about the search

Article and video from KOMO News in Washington

Article and video from KIRO TV in Seattle, Washington

Here’s some really good, in-depth coverage from Seattle’s QFOX 13

In this whole long day of news, the greatest irony is that Steve Powell was upset over the police taking his journals.  He doesn’t want people to read them…”there’s embarrassing stuff in there,” he said.  One wonders why it didn’t occur to him that Susan didn’t want her journals read, either.  At least he has the assurance that the police will likely not threaten to publish the contents of his journal for the world to read.   Susan didn’t get the same promise from her father-in-law and husband.

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Yesterday’s search in and around Ely, Nevada by West Valley City Police Department (WVPD) sparked an enormous amount of articles, videos and comments online.  Here are a few of the highlights:

The Salt Lake Tribune posted yesterday morning’s press conference by the WVPD on their YouTube channel

Chuck and Judy Cox, Susan’s parents, appeared on the CBS Early Show yesterday morning

KSL has a good article and video of the first day’s search, along with sidebars of a video interview with Josh Powell and of the WVPD press conference from Friday morning

The Salt Lake Tribune has a comprehensive article on Josh and Steve Powell, including video clips

Here’s an article from the Deseret News, with many search and other details

Fox 13 has a recap of the first day’s search, including that police searched a dozen mines, are in Ely as a result of a search warrant, and that they might have gotten there earlier if Josh Powell had cooperated with police.

KSL also has a new interview with Josh Powell’s thoughts on the search in Ely, Nevada

ABC-4 has reaction from Susan’s father and from friends of Susan.  Fox 13 has more on Susan’s friends.

Examiner.com’s Isabelle Zehnder has a couple of new articles about Josh Powell and his claims about what happened to Susan

There’s been a lot of talking about the search in Ely, the WVPD, and Josh Powell.  Many people are not convinced by Josh’s interview

Criticism has also been expressed of the police and this search in Nevada; here’s a column from the Salt Lake Tribune regarding the search

In other news about Josh Powell: people worldwide were stunned to hear on Thursday that Josh Powell filed a restraining order against Chuck and Judy Cox, because they ran into Josh and their grandchildren at a local hardware store and asked if they could hug their grandchildren.

Regardless of how people feel about the search in Nevada, one thing is sure: it’s certainly brought Susan back into the national spotlight.  And for Susan’s friends and family, whose only hope, dream and wish is to find Susan and see justice done, that is a huge blessing. 

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Yesterday morning Susan’s family, friends and the world were stunned by an announcement from the West Valley City, Utah police department (WVPD).  They announced in a media release that there were “considerable developments” in Susan’s case in and around Ely, Nevada and they would be sending a team of detectives out there today, Friday, August 19. 

There will be a press conference by the WVPD at 9am Nevada (Pacific) time.  Hopefully local media stations will carry live streaming coverage.  Try these websites for a link:

KSL-5 TV in Salt Lake City

FOX-13 in Salt Lake City

There are already many articles, videos and other reports online about the news yesterday.  I will try to include a summary of the main points and news articles later today.

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One year and six months ago today, the lives of many people were turned upside down forever.  Susan’s little boys, Charlie and Braden, did not show up to daycare.  This was extremely out of character for Susan—she was always reliable so their provider, Debbie, got worried and called Josh and Susan.  Neither one answered their phones, so she went over to their house and knocked on the door.  There were no tracks in the fresh snow leading out of their house or garage; she called the emergency contacts.  When Jennifer Graves and her mother arrived, knocked on the door, called Josh and Susan’s phones, called their work and were told “they did not come in to work today,” they called the police.

This began the nightmare all of us who know and love Susan—and those who have come to love her– have been living the past 18 months. 

The Facebook page “Friends and Family of Susan Cox Powell” has supporters from all over the United States, Canada, and many parts of the world.  Some of them expressed their feelings about Susan this past week in support:

I did not know Susan personally, but I pray for her, her family, and all of her friends. Never lose hope

With some experience, I can say that I hate the thought of children being told that their mother deserted them. It makes me ill. I pray that justice will come to the person responsible for her situation. Just as much, I hope those boys can grow up knowing that their mother would never, ever walk out on them.

Knowing what I know of Susan, I feel like I’ve missed out on knowing an incredible woman, friend, and mother. To me, my friends are my sisters. Susan did not deserve whatever has happened to her, and her children did not deserve to lose their mother. Her parents did not deserve to lose their daughter, and so on. She has so many people that love her and miss her. So much Family, and I do mean her friends as well as blood relatives. She did not walk away from her family. She did not leave of her own volition. I do pray that the Powell’s are telling her boys about her. The Truth about her. Not the nasty evil things they want the world to believe. Justice will be served. There’s no escaping that! Susan WILL Be Found!

As the eighteenth month mark approaches, my heart breaks even more for Susan’s sons. They must be so confused to have their lives turned upside down when their mom went missing.

I continue to take a proud stand for Susan. I know without a doubt that she did not leave on her own. I know how much she loves her boys. I know how hard she worked. I know how deeply she loves God and her friends, family and even her husband.

I continue to pray that answers will be found quickly for her sons. They are young but never to young to know the truth. I believe the truth always comes out. I pray for that day so all the healing, forgiveness and repentance process can start for all who are involved.

Susan loves so many, it is a blessing that all who love her have come together to form a strong bond of Faith as they wait for the truth to come forward. I will pray with them, search with them, love with them and believe with them, along with the many wonderful people from around the world do. I am grateful for them all, as their support get me to the next day.

Charlie and Braden will know the truth one day and I will pray with all that we can put their lives in order and have them grow up to know what a wonderful mom they have.

Susan can be taken for our sight but never from our hearts and our memories. Until I see her again I will continue to stand for her, and treasure my memories of her and her sweet boys!

Susan remains in my prayers along with her family and friends. I continue to believe that the Lord will answer in His own time.

I never met Susan personally, but I feel as though I know her now. through her Friends & Family. What a group of wonderful, kind, loving people. Just like Susan. She has made me want to be a better person. I will pray for her and her boys and family always! PUSH! ♥ [One of Susan’s favorite saying…PUSH = Pray Until Something Happens]

Susan you are so Loved, I wish it was enough to bring you home. So the empty spot in our hearts could start to heal.

DEAR SUSAN , i love you my sister in Christ. If i could i would travel the world to bring you home to your boys,family and friends. I know God has you in his loving arms no matter where you are, untill we find you and bring you home we hold you in our hearts

I did not know Susan either. But, she has been in my heart, thoughts and prayers. As well as her (((children, family and friends))). I pray that all will be answered soon. May God bless you all. ✞

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For the first time since Susan disappeared, the West Valley Police Department (WVPD) has put out a press release on the status of Susan’s case.

Here it is, as posted on the Friends and Family of Susan Powell Facebook group:

Good Afternoon and please allow me a brief moment to introduce myself to everyone here. I am Robert Bobrowski, a detective sergeant with the West Valley City Police Department and the supervisor responsible for the dedicated team of detectives assigned to the disappearance of Susan Powell.

I will attempt to post a message from our department on a regular basis and if you need to contact me please email me at robert.bobrowski@wvc-ut.gov. If appropriate, I will do my best to provide you with a timely response.

On behalf of Police Chief Thayle “Buzz” Nielsen, the investigative team and the police department, I am posting the following release:

The disappearance of Susan Powell is still the top priority for the West Valley City Police Department. To date the department has dedicated over 5000 hours to investigating Susan’s disappearance and has involved numerous outside agencies including federal, local and out of state to assist us in our efforts. Investigators have received and investigated hundreds of tips from the public and continue to receive more information daily.

The West Valley City Police Department would like the public to know that we appreciate their response to our continued requests for information that might help us find Susan.

The department, with the help of trained professionals, has conducted numerous searches of the area where Joshua Powell stated that he went camping the night of Susan’s disappearance. These searches have included aerial searches, ground searches and searches of the mines in and around the Simpson Springs area.

As we have from the beginning of this investigation, we would encourage anyone with information that might be pertinent to the disappearance of Susan Powell to call the West Valley City Police Department at 801-840-4000.

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