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Salt Lake Tribune: Police poring over evidence seized in Powell raid

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on Aug. 26, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
August 26, 2011 4:00 pm

The Salt Lake Tribune has been leading the pack with their coverage of the Susan Powell investigation. Here is their follow-up story on yesterday’s search of Josh Powell’s home in Puyallup. For the full story, click here.

By Melinda Rogers
The Salt Lake Tribune

A day after 13 West Valley City detectives combed through the South Hill home of Josh Powell, investigators are taking stock of evidence seized and determining how to proceed next.

West Valley City police Lt. Bill Merritt said Friday that officers remained at the Puyallup-area home of Powell — the only person of interest named by police in the case of his missing wife Susan Powell — until around midnight, after arriving on the Powell property on Thursday afternoon.

After loading evidence into a police trailer with help from detectives from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, West Valley City investigators had a debriefing about the search until 2 a.m. Friday and today are regrouping to continue their investigation, Merritt said.

He said investigators don’t plan to reconvene at the Powell home because they’ve retrieved everything they were seeking.

“It was the stuff we were looking for. We’re very happy to have that sort of outcome,” he said.

Merritt said the police trailer, filled with a “significant amount” of evidence, will be taken back to Utah where it will be analyzed. But he said police likely won’t leave Puyallup, on Friday.

“We’re not ready to pull up stakes. We want to make sure we have done everything,” Merritt said, not elaborating on specifics of other police work to be done in Washington. He said he did not expect arrests in the case to occur Friday and that more work needs to be completed before any arrests take place.

Merritt declined to provide specific details about what was seized from the home, but reporters and neighbors watched as five computer towers as well as several boxes and garbage bags were removed from the home.

A search warrant obtained from Pierce County Court in Tacoma permitted a search of Josh Powell’s minivan and of several, but not all, of the rooms in the home, Merritt said. That search warrant has been sealed by the court.

Merritt said Josh Powell stayed at the home for about an hour Thursday, then left with his sons, Charlie, 6, and Braden, 4. At one point, the boys ate pizza with police in the backyard.

“He was very cordial and calm,” Merritt said of Josh Powell. “I did not see any hostility.”

Josh Powell’s father, Steve Powell, was not on-scene during the search, but angrily told The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday, “They’re victimizing us more.”

Steve Powell told reporters outside the home Friday morning that investigators told him they were looking for Susan Powell’s journals – and they took his journals, as well.

“I didn’t want them to have my journals,” he told Seattle media outlet KOMO-TV. “There’s very embarrassing things in my journals.”

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