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Wake up little Susie: a mystery

True Crime. Profession: Author. Her cell phone was later found in the family's only vehicle, a minivan, that Joshua had been using. He claimed he had left Susan sleeping at home shortly after midnight on December 7, and had taken his boys on a camping trip to Simpson Springs in western Utah.

Joshua had not told his boss that he would not be coming into work that day, and explained to police it was because he had thought it was Sunday rather than Monday. In August , West Valley City police released documents showing that Joshua took actions that were regarded as highly suspicious following Susan's disappearance. Powell "did not appear to be concerned about her welfare" when first questioned by police; [ citation needed ] he liquidated her retirement accounts; he cancelled her regularly scheduled chiropractic sessions; and he withdrew his children from daycare.

Powell had previously spoken to coworkers about how to hide a body in an abandoned mineshaft in the western Utah desert. Police interviewed the family's eldest son, Charlie, [22] who confirmed that the camping trip Joshua described took place; [23] however, unlike his father, he stated that Susan had gone with them and she did not return. Investigators informed the media that they planned to question Joshua again, [25] and subpoenaed all footage and interviews aired and unaired of Joshua from local television stations.

By December 24, Joshua was considered a person of interest in the investigation. In Puyallup, Joshua occupied a home with his two sons, his father Steven, [17] [30] his brothers Michael and Jonathan, and his sister, Alina. Joshua indicated that he would rent out his house in Utah. Soon afterwards, the website SusanPowell. Described as "the official website of Susan Powell," the site's anonymous entries defended Joshua as the victim of a smear campaign by Susan's family, his sister Jennifer, and the LDS Church. Susan's family rejected these claims as being "unsupported" by any evidence. Investigators' scrutiny extended to Steven Powell upon learning from a family friend that he had been obsessed with his son's wife.

Computer images seized from Steven's house in turned up 4, images of Susan taken without her knowledge, including close-ups of specific body parts.

When police found the car, a sniffer dog indicated that a decomposing human body had been in the trunk. DNA tests on the car proved inconclusive.


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On September 14, , Utah authorities discovered a possible gravesite while searching Topaz Mountain , a desert area near Nephi that Joshua had frequented as a campsite. Federal anthropologists also ruled out the possibility of the site being an ancient burial ground.

Police continued to examine the site for a time, but offered no explanation as to why they previously announced the finding of remains when none had actually been confirmed. Authorities said they were following a scent detected by their sniffer dogs. Relationships between and within the Powell and Cox families became increasingly hostile. After a police raid in their home in , both Joshua and Steven spoke to major news outlets regarding journals that Susan had allegedly written about the relationship between Steven and herself.

Steven claimed that he and Susan had been falling in love prior to her disappearance, and he cited the content of the journals written when Susan was a teenager as evidence to support his theory that she was mentally unstable and could have run away with another man.

A judge issued a permanent injunction forbidding Joshua and Steven from publishing any material from Susan's journals, ordering the pair to either return or destroy any journals already published. On September 22, Steven was arrested on charges of voyeurism and child pornography after police found evidence that he had secretly videotaped numerous women and young girls, including Susan. John Long, assistant Attorney General for Washington State, said that Joshua was a "subject" in the child pornography investigation. A Washington court eventually granted Cox temporary custody of the boys, [42] ruling that Joshua would have to move out of Steven's home if he wanted to regain custody.

Joshua rented a house in South Hill, Washington, but authorities later alleged that he had never actually moved into that house, merely making it appear as if he had satisfied the court's instructions while continuing to reside at Steven's home.

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In late September , Joshua's sister Jennifer stated that she believed Joshua was "responsible for his wife Susan Powell's disappearance". On September 28, Mayor Mike Winder indicated that he felt that the case was worth the expense, stating, "We feel that we are getting to that tipping point where we have more hot evidence than we have had in the past two years", and that the case was moving forward.

In late , Joshua underwent a series of court-ordered evaluations in Washington. The evaluations by James Manley determined that Joshua had adequate parenting skills, a steady employment history and no criminal record or history of domestic violence. However, Manley also raised issues concerning the ongoing criminal investigations, Joshua's failure to admit normal personal shortcomings, his overbearing behavior with his sons, and his persistent defensiveness and paranoia attributed to the police and media attention in conjunction with underlying narcissistic traits.

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The initial recommendation was for Joshua to have visitation with his sons several times a week, supervised by a social worker. In the last week of January , Utah police discovered about images of simulated child pornography, bestiality and incest on Joshua's computer.

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The images, while not illegal due to their being in a hand-drawn, or cartoonish 3-D format, were cause for "great concern" to Manley, particularly given Joshua's earlier denial of possessing any such material. Joshua was recommended to receive a more thorough psychosexual evaluation and polygraph test , but Manley suggested no change in the visitation schedule with the Powell boys.

Lawyers for the Cox family disputed the allegations, and Google removed the site after a few days due to terms of use violations. Hall, who was supposed to monitor the visit between Joshua and the boys, reported that he grabbed them and would not let her in the door. Local authorities treated the case as a double murder-suicide , [49] saying that the act appeared to have been deliberate. When authorities notified Steven, who was in jail, he "didn't seem very upset by the news, but was angry towards authorities who notified him".

Cox and others have stated they believe that Steven knew what actually happened to Susan. After a relatively brief investigation, officials confirmed that the explosion had been deliberately planned. The official cause of death for Joshua and the two boys was determined to be carbon monoxide poisoning, though the coroner also noted that both children had significant chopping injuries on the head and neck.

A hatchet was recovered near Joshua's body, and investigators believe that he attacked the boys with it before being overwhelmed by smoke and fumes. Friends and relatives of Joshua told authorities that he had contacted them by email minutes before the incident to say goodbye. Some of them, including his pastor, received instructions about finding his money and shutting off his utilities. Charles and Braden are buried at Woodbine Cemetery, which also contains a memorial for their mother. Joshua's remains were cremated. On February 11, , approximately one year after the death of Joshua and his sons, Michael took his own life in Minneapolis , Minnesota , where he had moved for graduate school.

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He jumped from the roof of a parking garage. In a February interview, Manley, who had conducted the evaluations of Joshua for Washington authorities, acknowledged his suspicions that Joshua was involved in his wife's disappearance. However, he did not mention these suspicions in his report because they were beyond the scope of his duties and because Joshua had not been charged with any wrongdoing.

On May 21, , West Valley City police announced that they had closed the active investigation into Susan's disappearance. Joshua's sister Jennifer wrote a memoir with co-author Emily Clawson about the Powell family's tumultuous history. Jennifer was inspired to write the book, she says, "to help other people to recognize abuse in either their own relationships or relationships around them, because it's not always completely apparent.

In March , Chuck Cox won a protracted court battle with Joshua's mother Terrica, and his sister Alina, over control of Susan's estate. Terrica and Alina had sought to have Susan declared legally dead to collect life insurance, but Cox ultimately gained full control of the estate. While a lower court initially ruled against the Coxes, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed this ruling and allowed the case to proceed to trial in January Steven Powell was released from prison on July 11, , after serving a total of seven years following his voyeurism and child pornography convictions.

Susan remains a missing person, but given the fates of her sons, it is widely believed that she was murdered by her husband. The two-night special was touted to be the "definitive" account of the investigation, revealing Steven Powell's never-before-seen videos that were seized by police when he was arrested. The documentary included interviews with many who have never spoken out publicly, including Josh Powell's sister, Alina. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Susan Powell. South Hill, Washington. Puyallup , Washington , U.

Wake up little Susie : a mystery | Sutter County Library

South Hill, Washington , U. New York Daily News. Associated Press. Retrieved 5 January The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 1 March Retrieved 29 March Inside Edition. CBS Television Distribution. Inside Edition Inc. Archived from the original on 4 May Retrieved 8 May Retrieved 4 April Archived from the original on 16 January Retrieved 15 January Accessed January 15, KOMO News. Archived from the original on 22 May Retrieved 6 January Deseret News.