Website message upsets family of missing Susan Powell

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

WEST VALLEY CITY -- A Mother's Day message on a Susan Powell website is drawing the ire of her family, as a new search for the missing West Valley City woman is announced in the West Desert.

The new page on, believed to be the creation of Josh Powell, features pictures of the couple's children playing in the yard and watering a plant.

"The boys love plants and gardening just like you so they planted flowers for your honor on Mother's Day," the accompanying message reads.

The message continues to inform that the children "enjoyed a special dinner and a cake" and "looked at family photos like they do almost every day."

"We hope you like the pictures and are thinking about us as much as we are thinking about you," the message says.

Powell search background
• Dec. 6, 2009 - The last time anyone saw Susan Powell
• Dec. 7 - The day Susan Powell was reported missing
• Dec. 9 - Police call disappearance of Susan Powell suspicious
• Dec. 12 - Family of missing woman's husband speaks
• Dec. 16 - Josh Powell named person of interest
• Dec. 17 - 2nd search warrant served at Powell home
• Dec. 20 - Josh Powell attends Wash. vigil
• Jan. 3, 2010 - Friends of missing Utah mom launch Web media blitz
• Jan. 4 - Social media blitz kick off
• Jan. 9 - Josh Powell packs up West Valley City house
• Jan. 27 - Family, friends put up ribbon display at Powell WVC home
• Feb. 5 - Friends plan ‘Week of Service' in honor of Susan Powell
• Feb. 15 - Family accuses missing woman's husband of abuse
• March 1 - Susan Powell's family, former cop question new website
• March 6 - Vigils mark 3-month anniversary of Susan Powell's disappearance
• March 9 - Witnesses say they saw Josh Powell at a strip club just hours after Susan Powell was reported missing.
•March 16 - Volunteer search being organized for Susan Powell
•March 26 - Tooele County sheriff has concerns about search for Susan Powell
•April 2 - Search for Susan Powell closed to the public
•April 10 - Searchers comb West Desert for signs of Susan Powell

Shelby Gifford, spokesperson for Susan's parents, takes issue with the implication that Susan can come home any time she wants.

"I think anybody who knows Susan -- but especially her family -- would dispute that," Gifford told KSL Newsradio by phone Thursday. "We know that she would never choose to be away from her children."

Gifford says Susan's family is trying to focus its energies on finding Susan.

"In terms of having this website on our radar, yeah, you know what, it's pretty ludicrous -- just the notion that Susan would somehow choose to go on a mini vacation and abandon her children is ridiculous," Gifford said. "What anybody was thinking when they put it up, what their message is -- we have no control over that."

New Search

Bountiful-based Strategic Tactical Group, which was involved in the last organized search for Susan, is heading up a new search of an undisclosed area of the West Desert on June 26.

"What we plan on accomplishing this time is covering more area -- some other points of interest that have been drawn to our attention as far as places that the Powells have gone camping previously," director of training Chris Willden said.

Volunteers are welcome in this search, Willden told KSL. They will have to pay $10 to cover supplies, and they will have to sit through two days of training June 19-20.

The last search was organized by volunteers in Cache County but was ultimately handled by trained experts when the volunteers stood down over liability and safety concerns. Those experts stayed away from mines due to the potential of encountering poisonous gases. This time, a group specializing in mine searches will help.

"These poor little kids of hers," Willden said, referring to Susan's children. "They need to know where their mom is and what happened.

Family Contact

Gifford tells KSL the last time Chuck and Judy Cox saw their grandchildren was April 10 in Puyallup, Wash., when Josh arranged a meeting in a park.

"Josh was with them the entire time and they were eventually joined by Josh's father and one of his brothers as well," Gifford said.

Gifford says there was no discussion of the case or Susan's whereabouts.

The timing of the meeting coincided with the last West Desert search for Susan, so the Cox family was not able to attend the search.


Related links

Related stories

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics

Andrew Adams


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast