PUYALLUP, Washington (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) — It’s something everyone has been waiting for – missing Utah mom Susan Cox Powell’s children have finally been removed from their father and grandfather’s Puyallup home and placed into the custody of their maternal grandparents, Chuck and Judy Cox.
Tuesday was an emotional day for everyone following missing Utah mom, Susan Cox Powell’s case, and an especially emotional day for Susan’s family and friends.
Susan’s children were placed into child protective custody Thursday night when their grandfather, Steve Powell, was arrested and charged with on one count of possessing an image of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and on 14 counts of voyeurism against young girls and women.
For years Sandy Crain-Anderson listened to Susan’s father-in-law, Steve Powell, as he confided in her about his obsession for Susan. She had no idea that the porn Steve said he had in a locked cabinet in his bedroom included photos he’d taken of unsuspecting women and children.
Sandy recalls the numerous songs Steve wrote about Susan, pining for a love he couldn’t have. When Susan went missing Sandy felt compelled to call police to tell them what she knew. Police say that though they didn’t get back to Sandy right away, they hadn’t forgotten what she told them.
Though Sandy has never met Steve’s grandchildren, she has felt a strong sense of concern for them living in a house she has known was not a healthy environment for Susan’s children.
During a phone call months ago, Sandy said Steve and Josh called her one night and spoke with her for about an hour. She said they were trying to convince her to make public statements online in support of Josh, something she refused to do.
Sandy said that during their entire conversation she could hear the children in the background. All while the men were discussing their missing mom.
Tonight Sandy feels a sense of relief for Susan’s boys. She said in an email, “Isabelle, I am truly relieved that those precious little boys are no longer in the Powell home.
“Although there will certainly be an adjustment period for the little boys and the Cox family, I’m feeling very hopeful and envisioning a dark cloud that is finally lifting.”
A best friend shares her relief
For nearly 22 months Susan’s best friend, Kiirsi Hellewell, has done everything she could humanly do to keep her friend’s story out in the media, Susan’s face in the forefront of people’s minds.
Tuesday evening Kiirsi said in an email, “Something I’ve wanted for nearly 2 years is now happening. Charlie and Braden Powell are, at last, in the arms of Susan’s family.
“Her parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, have not been allowed to see or visit with their grandchildren in over a year and a half. Even their cousins were not allowed to say ‘hi’ to the boys recently.
“This is a terrible injustice that has caused the Cox family and all those who know and love Susan and her boys terrible additional pain. Susan is missing … gone … ripped away from her life, her friends, her family, and her two little boys whom she loved more than anything on this earth.
“Her boys have been deprived of their mother for nearly half their lives. And the past 21 months, they’ve been deprived of their grandparents, too, and the rest of Susan’s family.
“And worse–they’ve been in a place Susan despised above all others. She NEVER wanted them to live with Steve Powell, Josh’s father.
“Tonight they are, at least temporarily, SAFE and reunited with their grandparents. The joy in Chuck Cox’s voice as he spoke about spending time with Charlie and Braden is not something I will ever forget.
“These little boys may be the Cox family’s last link to Susan. Finally, a small bit of justice for Susan is happening.”
Linda Osborne, who has been searching for Susan since she vanished and who has helped organize searches said in an email Tuesday night, “Today I was elated to hear that Charlie and Braden get to spend the night at Chuck and Judy’s house!
“It will be so good for them to finally get to spend some time with their grandparents. These little boys have been cruely isolated from all the people they love and used to have in their lives.
“I hope that the family court system will see that these boys not only have a safe, secure, happy home, but comfort of having their loved ones back in their lives. Charlie and Braden, you sweethearts deserve the best.”
Susan went missing in December 2009. Her husband, Josh Powell, claimed he took their two young sons, then ages 2 and 4, on an impromptu camping trip after Susan went to bed around midnight. He claims when he returned the following day his wife was missing and he had no idea what happened to her.
Josh and his father, Steve Powell, have claimed for months that Susan is alive and ran off with a man who went missing just days after Susan, Steven Koecher. Something Susan’s friends and family say she’d never do.
WVCPD and Nevada Police departments investigated and found no connection whatsoever in the disappearances of Susan and Steven.
Tuesday, Josh told the judge he believes his wife committed suicide.
More recent news in Susan’s case:
Day 1: Fight for custody of missing Susan Cox Powell’s children begins
Susan Cox Powell’s father, Chuck Cox, shows patience and perseverance
Susan Cox Powell’s father reacts to charges against Steve Powell (Video)
Steve Powell arrested: Where are Susan Cox Powell’s children?
Click here for comprehensive news coverage on Susan’s case.
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