It’s been over 10 years since Susan Cox Powell disappeared. No one has been held responsible for her presumed death or the deaths of her sons, who lost their lives around two years after their mother vanished. As the family battles for justice in an ongoing civil battle, Susan’s father opened up on what it was like to desperately fight for his grandchildren’s safety.
Susan, a 28-year-old mother from West Valley, Utah, disappeared without a trace in 2009. Family and friends sensed foul play from the beginning, as she would never leave her children behind. Where is Susan?
On December 6, 2009, Susan was seen attending church at the Salt Lake Hunter Central Stake with her two boys, Charlie and Braden, ages four and two at the time. The next day, Susan failed to show up for work and her sons weren’t taken to their daycare center.
Susan’s husband, Josh Powell, later told police that he took his boys camping at around midnight on December 7, despite the freezing weather. He said Susan stayed at home and when he returned, he couldn’t find her. She hasn’t been seen since.
Susan’s father, Chuck Cox, told Nancy Grace on the latest “Crime Stories” on Fox Nation that he knew from the day of his daughter’s wedding that something was off about Josh Powell.
“When I got a call from my daughter, [she] said they had driven from the [wedding] reception over to Steve Powell’s (Josh’s father) house to wash off the car. They were supposed to be going on their honeymoon and instead he drives to his father’s house so he can wash the car….what on Earth is this guy?”
The odd behavior didn’t stop there. After Susan’s disappearance, Josh Powell’s strange antics, which included having his two young sons around his sex offender father, persisted for years. It resulted in the children being taken away from him by the State Department of Social and Health Services in Washington state.
Susan’s parents tried everything to keep the boys away from their father, given his instability and his possible involvement in the disappearance and presumed death of their daughter. Despite their battles, Josh was allowed supervised visitation with the children.
On February 5, 2012, during what was supposed to be a routine supervised visit, Josh Powell rushed Charlie and Braden into his Pierce County, Washington, home after they got out of a social worker’s car. After locking himself inside the home with the children, Josh Powell hacked the children with a hatchet, then blew the home up while they were all inside.
“What more could I possibly have done? I couldn’t think of anything,” Chuck Cox said. “I had warned people. DSHS people refused to listen to my warnings. I asked the police to arrest him and they said they couldn’t…There was always excuses, there was always issues but I did everything I could to save our grandchildren.”
Now, the Cox family is in the middle of a court battle with DSHS. They claim the agency didn’t listen when they tried over and over to warn that their grandchildren were in grave danger around their father.
Attorney Ann Bremner, who has been working the case since the beginning, added that the jury on the civil trial has the opportunity to “make history” and help protect children in the future from going through similar abuse.
“This jury has the chance to make history and make sure this never happens again and we have accountability. We’re in the defense case right now. We’re hearing from all kinds of different people, including experts, about why this, why that. But the bottom line is, they [DSHS] failed and their duties.”
For more information on the Susan Cox Powell and her sons, visit Susanshelp.net.
[Photo: Powell Family/West Valley PD]