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PUYALLUP, Wash. — The parents of missing West Valley mother Susan Cox Powell for the first time have directly accused Josh Powell in connection with their daughter's disappearance.
"We have been reluctant to acknowledge what has been the feeling of many others and that is simply that our daughter is dead. Whether our daughter is being held against her will somewhere or whether she is dead, we both believe the father, Josh Powell, is directly responsible for her disappearance," Chuck and Judy Cox said in court documents filed Friday.
There has been a flurry of activity in the Susan Powell case over the past 24 hours — including the arrest of Susan's father-in-law, Steven Powell, several court hearings related to Susan Powell's childhood diaries and Chuck Cox filing for custody of his grandchildren.
Friday in Pierce County, Chuck Cox, Susan's father, requested custody of Susan and Josh's two sons, ages 6 and 4, in a nearly 90-page document in which he now directly accuses Josh Powell of his daughter's disappearance.
We have prepared this custody petition in anticipation of Josh being arrested for the disappearance, kidnapping/murder of our daughter. Obviously, we are hoping against hope and sending out many prayers that our daughter is somehow, someway found alive.
–Chuck and Judy Cox, in court documents
"We have prepared this custody petition in anticipation of Josh being arrested for the disappearance, kidnapping/murder of our daughter. Obviously, we are hoping against hope and sending out many prayers that our daughter is somehow, someway found alive," the Coxes said in their petition filed Friday.
The children are currently in protective custody in Washington.
Josh Powell did not say a word to reporters as he left the courthouse Friday.
Cox was asked about all of the activity of the past 24 hours, including the arrest of Steven Powell.
"I think it's a sad day for the Powell family that this has come out. I am relieved that the children are no longer in that household," he told KING-TV.
Cox said he did not know if any of the pornographic material seized from Steven Powell's house included his grandchildren. He called the crimes Steven Powell is accused of committing "disgusting."
"I think it very clearly shows that (Susan's) concerns were justified about Steven Powell, it supports everything she said about him," he said. “My daughter did not want those grandchildren in that house. I’m glad they’re not in there now.”
In his petition, Cox said that according to Josh Powell's sister, Jennifer Graves, Steven Powell was "into pornography, prostitutes, anti-government, anti-social conduct and behaviors. Steven Powell had suggested at one time that Susan could in fact be a 'common wife' to both he and Josh."
As for whether Steven Powell should be considered a person of interest in his daughter's disappearance, Cox said, "I have no idea what to think about Steven Powell right now. I'm going to let police do the police work."
In the petition for custody, Cox also states that Kirk and Jennifer Graves, who live in Utah and are estranged from Josh and Steven Powell, are willing to step in as a third party for custody.
The Coxes also say police have wanted to interview the young boys about their mother's disappearance, and have a person who specializes in interviewing young witnesses lined up in Washington should they get custody, court documents state.