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WEST VALLEY CITY — Police Chief Thayle "Buzz" Nielsen is defending his department after a spate of criticism that West Valley Police did not do enough to arrest Josh Powell before he murdered his children and then killed himself.
"We didn't do this in a bubble," Nielsen tolk KSL following a NAACP meeting on a subject other than the Susan Powell case.
"We had multiple agencies, federal agencies that have helped us work on this for two years. So, they can Monday morning quarterback when it's over."
Nielsen warned, though, that the case is far from over.
"We still need to know, where is Susan? What happened? Was there an accomplice? Who helped them? Who refuses to talk to us?"
Nielsen said that police don't necessarily need to find Susan's body but need to have a clear understanding of what happened to her.
"No, [you don't need a body] but you have to have a real strong case without a body," he said.
More than two years after Susan's disappearance and her husband's recent suicide, the police chief says between seven and nine detectives continue to follow up leads on the case.
In addition to Josh Powell and his father, Steven, he said investigators are looking at a "few others" in connection with Susan's disappearance.
Regarding the Powell family, Nielsen said, "We do want to talk to them, absolutely. They've refused to cooperate also."
Over the course of this investigation, Nielsen said the police department did not have enough clear and convincing evidence to arrest Powell or even get a conviction.
"Have we presented our case for screening? No," Nielsen said adding that the police department hasn't reached that point.
When asked whether Nielsen's department could have done anything differently to have saved Susan Powell's two sons from being killed by their father, he paused and said: "I don't think so. I think Josh had it planned out."