PUYALLUP, Washington (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) — For nearly two years those close to missing Utah mom, Susan Cox Powell, have been very vocal in letting the public know about Susan’s dislike and distrust for her father-in-law, Steve Powell – they wonder why Josh Powell ignored their warnings.
They made it very clear that Susan would not have wanted her children visiting Steve’s home, let alone living there.
They said Susan was so upset with her father-in-law that early in their marriage Josh and Susan were forced to move to Utah and away from their family in Washington because Steve had made sexual advances toward Susan.
According to their friends, Josh knew even then why Susan wanted to move to Utah. It wasn’t to get away from her family, it was to get away from Steve. The young couple had moved into Steve’s home to save money soon after they were married. Susan told friends she caught Steve sneaking around and peeking in the room while she was dressing.
There’s no doubt in the minds of Susan’s loved ones that Josh knew about Susan’s concerns and desire not to have her children around Steve. Susan’s friends say she told Josh if Steve were to come visit them in Utah he’d have to stay in a hotel and that he was not welcome to stay in their home.
She obviously had her reasons.
There’s been online chatter for months about Steve, including suspicions he was infatuated with Susan. But those suspicions pale in comparison to what has been learned over the past two weeks.
Last week Steve was arrested on charges of child porn and voyeurism. Police swarmed his home on August 25 and removed 15 computers and boxes of items from the home.
After reviewing only 5-10% of the files on Steve’s computers detectives say they found some 2,000 images and videos of women and young girls in various stages of undress, some were nude. Some were photos of Susan that police say were obviously taken without her knowledge or consent.
West Valley City Police Chief Thayle “Buss” Nielsen told FOX 13 that his detectives have only scratched the surface. He said the evidence seized from the home was enough to convince his department and the courts that Steve’s home was not a safe place for Susan’s children, Charlie, 6, and Braden, 4.
He said he feels strongly that once all the evidence is analyzed Steve could face more charges and that his department will finally learn what really happened to Susan Cox Powell.
Susan’s friends say it is apparent that Josh never heeded those warnings. Instead he allowed his children to be exposed to his father who now sits in jail on charges of child pornography and voyeurism.
They believe Josh knew about his father’s sick sexual perversions, and about issues surrounding his mentally ill brother,John, who has been living in the home since Josh moved in with the boys. Detectives say John answered the door in the nude when they arrived at Steve’s home.
Yet Josh still chose to place, and keep, his children in an environment that has proven to be far from wholesome.
It was on the night of Steve’s arrest that the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and West Valley Police Department worked together to coordinate the removal of Josh’s children from the home.
Finally, the State of Washington stepped in and took over custody of the children pending a decision of who will have permanent custody. For now, they are with their maternal grandparents, Chuck and Judy Cox, where those close to Susan say they should be.
More recent news in Susan’s case:
Parents of Susan Cox Powell gain temporary custody of her children
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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