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Susan Powell's parents express concerns on Today Show



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — The mother of missing woman Susan Powell says West Valley City police bear some responsibility for the deaths of her two grandsons. Chuck and Judy Cox appeared on the Today Show this morning to talk about the latest evidence revealed in their daughter's case.

An unsealed search warrant shows West Valley City police found Susan Powell's blood in her home after she was reported missing, and that her husband, Josh Powell, tampered with her cell phone. Susan's parents say had Josh been arrested when that evidence was collected, perhaps their grandsons would be alive.

During Monday's interview, Chuck and Judy Cox were asked if they felt West Valley police shoulder some responsibility for the deaths of Charlie and Braden Powell by not arresting Josh Powell.

"Definitely," Judy said. "They had their plan, or as their tips came in and they started working the case, and now seeing some of the evidence that was given right in the beginning, surprises me that they didn't arrest him or talk with him."

Chuck Cox added, "They didn't feel they had that level of evidence. And that's a judgment call they had to make. In hindsight, we say they made a mistake, but that doesn't mean that they would have been able to keep him in jail."


I certainly think there was enough evidence at least to arrest him and get some serious discussion out of him.

–Chuck Cox


West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder is defending the decisions made by the police department. "The last thing they were going to do was make a premature arrest and let someone slip through the fingers of justice," Winder told KSL Monday.

But Chuck Cox said new evidence of Josh Powell tampering with Susan's cell phone after she went missing, and then her blood found in the house should have been enough to at least bring him in for questioning.

"It's unbelievable," he said. "I certainly think there was enough evidence at least to arrest him and get some serious discussion out of him. Because he was never actually taken in and interrogated, even if they had to release him, they would have gotten something out of him."

"Somewhere in there, there had to be enough to arrest him," he said.

Chuck and Judy Cox addressed the note Susan left in a safety deposit box that said if she died it might not be an accident. They told viewers of the Today Show, they wish Susan would have come to them.

"That just makes me real sad that she didn't talk with us more and be more serious in talking," Judy said.

"We knew they had trouble," Chuch added, "and she thought she could handle it. But she stayed too long."

Former federal prosecutor weighs in

Meanwhile, a former federal prosecutor said not only would he have arrested Josh Powell, but the failure to do so led to the murder of Powell's sons.

Tad Dibiase is an expert on murder cases in which a body was never found. In an interview with radio station WBBM he said today's technology can make a big difference in how prosecutors make their case.

"It's a lot easier than even 20 years ago to show, hey this person hasn't used their cell phone, they haven't updated their Facebook status. They used to update things every day," he said.

Dibiase wrote a blog saying many cases have been successfully prosecuted with less evidence than what West Valley City police have collected. He said, "This reluctance to arrest simply because there isn't a body is foolish, timid and here, ultimately deadly as Powell's children might still be alive if Josh had been arrested when this evidence was uncovered."

Dibiase said he expects West Valley police have even more evidence than what has been released.

Contributing: Shara Park, Andrew Adams and Randall Jeppesen

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