Special Reports

Vilification' irks relatives of missing Utah woman's husband

SALT LAKE CITY – The father of a Utah man considered a person of interest in the disappearance of his 28-year-old wife says his son is being vilified.

Steven Powell told The Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday from his home in Puyallup that the investigation into Susan Powell’s disappearance has turned his son, Josh Powell, into a scapegoat.

“The whole thing has just turned into a vilification of Josh and it will turn into a vilification of me, my ex-wife and my other kids,” Steven Powell said through the partially open front door of his home. “I’m not making any statement because it doesn’t matter how benign it is or how supportive it is. Somebody will twist it around.”

On Monday, West Valley City Police Capt. Tom McLachlan said an anonymous donor is offering up to $10,000 for original information that may lead them to Susan Powell.

Susan Powell was last seen on Dec. 7, when Josh Powell says he left their suburban home in West Valley City about 12:30 a.m. to take their two boys, ages 2 and 4, camping in freezing conditions.

She was reported missing the same day when she failed to show up for her stockbroker job and her children were not dropped off at day care.

Josh Powell has not been named a suspect in the case. On Sunday, he attended a candlelight vigil in Puyallup, although he did not speak to reporters or Susan Powell’s family.

Susan Powell’s father, Charles Cox, wrote on a Facebook page for friends and family that he didn’t understand why Josh was at the vigil.

“I heard that Joshua (the husband) had arrived,” he wrote in the posting. “I saw this (sic) brother doing an interview, I couldn’t really understand why Josh was there.”

Cox and Josh Powell have barely spoken since Susan Powell was reported missing, although Cox has defended Josh Powell as a good father.

Josh Powell’s attorney, Scott Williams, told The Associated Press he had no new information Monday.