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Susan Powell’s sons taken into state custody; grandparents file for custody

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Sep. 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm with 5 Comments »
September 23, 2011 1:03 pm

The parents of a missing Utah mother have filed for custody of her two sons after the boys’ paternal grandfather was arrested on charges of voyeurism.

The boys, ages 4 and 6, were taken into protective custody Thursday night, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. The boys had been living with their father, Josh Powell, at Powell’s father’s house in South Hill since shortly after their mother, Susan Cox Powell, disappeared from the family’s home in Utah in December 2009.

“We always err on the side of caution when it comes to kids,” he said.

They boys have since been put into state care and will be placed in a foster home at least for the time being, said Sherry Hill, spokeswoman for Children’s Administration.

“We are working with law enforcement to ensure the appropriate placement,” she said.

A court commissioner said Friday that he will not decide on the custody of the boys until after the state’s child welfare agency finishes its investigation. Another hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

“We’re very concerned for the welfare of our grandchildren. We’re doing everything we can,” said Chuck Cox, Susan Powell’s father, after the custody hearing.

Pierce County sheriff’s detectives arrested Susan Powell’s father-in-law, 61-year-old Steve Powell, late Thursday after uncovering more than 2,000 sexually-explicit images of young girls and women on videotapes and CDs in his room. Investigators believe the photos and videos were taken without the permission of the subjects in the images, which included Susan Powell.

Steve Powell will be arraigned this afternoon on 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Susan Powell’s parents, Charles and Judy Cox, filed for custody of their grandsons this morning. In the petition, they write that they prepared the document in anticipation of Josh Powell’s arrest in connection with their daughter’s disappearance. He’s been identified as the only person of interest in the case.

The petition outlines details of the marriage between Susan and Josh Powell and trouble that had been brewing in the years before her disappearance.

The couple, both of whom are Puyallup natives, married in April 2001. They moved to Utah in 2003, found jobs and had the sons.

Hill said the custody petition was filed in a different court than what CPS works in now that the boys have been taken into protective custody. The state has 72 hours to file a dependency petition.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. johnnywombat says:

    I wish the Cox family good wishes and hope they are successful with their custody bid. I do not know them but I am 1000% behind this family.

    To not be allowed to see their own grandchildren by their father Josh, suspected murderer of their own daughter would be painful enough, but now it seems Grandpa Powell is a pervert with tastes for young children. GET THOSE BOYS OUT OF THAT HOUSE!!!


  2. You have got to love the fact that “the authorities” are already admitting they are wrong. “We always ERR on the side of caution…”

    Err means “to make a mistake” or “violate an accepted standard of conduct.”

    Is it semantics or Freudian?

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the elder Mr. Powell is a sleazeball and the younger one is guilty as can be. Who takes toddlers camping in the middle of the night during a snowstorm. If nothing else, string him up for being a crappy liar!

  3. Hmmm… it sounds like the grandparents had a motive to murder Susan and frame her husband, because they wanted custody of the grand children.

    What if….. Susan and Josh got in a fight and Josh left with the kids to give himself time to calm down. Susan then called her parents. They came over and after hearing her story decided Josh was likely to divorce her and get custody of the children. The grandparents, wanting custody of the children themselves, then killed Susan and left her purse and cellphone behind to frame Josh.

    Does that sound absurd? If it does, it’s no more absurd than the idea a 90 pound weakling killed his big, well fed wife without any signs of a struggle and that an intense investigation lasting years has failed to turn up a single scrap of evidence connecting him to a crime.

    At some point Occam’s Razor would say the police need to take a closer look at other potential suspects.

  4. johnnywombat says:

    de9mm………….hmm, interesting theory, HAHAHA! Rightio.

  5. ijustwannasay says:

    Why do so many people rant about Josh Powell being a “crappy liar” regarding camping in the snow when his own boy was his alibi?

    Regardless of whether he is innocent or guilty, when did the majority of this country become incapable of critical thinking and just give in to emotional outbursts?

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