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UPDATE -- It appears that the website has been removed. We do not know why and we will keep you updated as we receive information. - - - - - -
SALT LAKE CITY -- A new website from the family of Josh Powell is blasting the investigation into the disappearance of Susan Cox Powell. It claims investigators haven't looked into other family members closely enough and that Powell's children are in danger while they're in the care of the Cox family.
"These children were willfully ripped from the safe and loving home they lived in with their father and were intentionally placed in an abusive household," where one of the boys has been subjected to repeated abuse, the site alleges.
The site includes a string of links to documents and news stories and says the police have bungled the investigation, while child protective service workers have ignored the children's peril.
"It doesn't surprise me because they're going to try and do stuff to take the eyes off them and put it on somebody else and make themselves look a little better," said Jennifer Graves, Josh and Michael Powell's sister, who reiterated she wants the boys to continue to stay with the Coxes. "They're trying to make Josh look better so he can get his kids back, obviously."
Josh Powell's brother, Michael, wrote in his blog that he has reason to believe the West Valley Police department has overlooked viable leads, "probably intentionally, including Steven Koecher, Tim Peterson, Chuck Cox, and (Powell's estranged sister) Jennifer Graves."
"Should they be looking at me?" said Graves "I'm sure that they've looked at me and everyone else that has ever known Susan."
Graves says she has had open lines of communication with investigators, unlike her brother, Joshua. She claims her estranged brother is only willing to speak with the West Valley City Police Department under certain conditions.
Should they be looking at me? I'm sure that they've looked at me and everyone else that has ever known Susan.
"I'm not hiding, unlike my brother, who has avoided police contact, won't do any more interviews [and] tries to bargain with the police department," Graves said.
The website and the allegations came just two days before to a scheduled custody hearing in Pierce county.
The website purports to illustrate what Michael Powell calls "incompetence and malice" by the West Valley Police Department. Michael Powell wrote, "The WVCPD has slandered the Powell family through a bizarre effort to cover up endeavors on our part to aid in the search for Josh's wife."
He also blasts their searches in Ely, Nevada, and by the Topaz Mountain, in which police, at first, claimed they had made major findings, but couldn't show anything significant later. Powell wrote, "I believe the Ely stunt was designed to disrupt the Powell's' attempt to gain protection from Chuck Cox and his ongoing harassment and death threats against Josh and the rest of my family (our protection order was granted nonetheless)."
Graves defends these searches by saying a lot of new information came out since then, including pictures which led to voyeurism charges against her father, Steven Powell.
"They were able to pull a lot of stuff out of that house and my dad was arrested for a very nasty crime," Graves said.
The website also says the Powell children, Braden and Charlie, are in danger while living in the Cox home, and have been injured while living there. He claims Braden may be disfigured after his foot somehow went into a pot of boiling water placed on the floor.
"From the other witnesses that were already there and who witnessed the incidents, Michael is blowing it way out of proportion," Graves said.
Susan Powell has not been seen since early December 2009 when her husband, Josh Powell, said he left their home to take the two young boys on a camping trip in the west desert of Utah. Josh Powell is the only person of interest police have identified in the case.
In 2011, after Josh Powell moved to Washington to live with his father, Steve Powell, the older man was arrested on suspicion of child pornography and voyeurism. Police say they found images of women who had been videotaped without their consent, including Susan Powell. He has pleaded not guilty, with a trial set for March.
The website is the latest ugly and emotional turn amid an ongoing criminal case that has pitted individuals in families against each other and spawned multiple civil lawsuits, including one by the Coxes against Josh Powell for another website.
Graves said her brother Michael's website with its allegations of abuse against the grandparents and incompetence against the police department is tiresome, annoying and simply a smokescreen.
"They're trying to make it sound as if the Coxes are somehow bad guardians and that the West Valley Police Department hasn't been doing their job properly," she said. "Once you actually start analyzing it, it really doesn't hold water."