Special Reports

Questions unanswered in missing Utah mom case

Police said Tuesday that they want to question the husband of a missing Utah woman about a car he allegedly rented that was driven hundreds of miles following his wife’s disappearance.

“It was rented in Joshua Powell’s name, and there were several hundred miles put on it,” West Valley City Police Capt. Tom McLachlan said. “The company that rents the car has said there is no stored GPS data that would indicate where it was taken.”

Powell’s wife, Susan, was last seen on Dec. 7. He told police he left her at home about 12:30 a.m. that day to go winter camping on the Pony Express trail west of Salt Lake City with their sons, ages 4 and 2, in freezing temperatures.

Susan Powell was reported missing the same day when she failed to show up for her job as stockbroker for Wells Fargo Bank and her children were not dropped off at day care.

Police said the case is still a missing persons investigation, but have twice searched the family home and a minivan and have labeled Josh Powell as a “person of interest.” Police have not said what, if anything, has been taken from the Powell home or van.

McLachlan said Joshua Powell rented the car during the 24-hour period that his van was in police custody, about two days after his wife was reported missing.

McLachlan declined to say specifically how many miles were added to the rental car’s odometer and acknowledged that while police know the car was rented by Powell, they can only speculate about whether he was the person who used it. He said he didn’t know what type of car was rented and declined to name the rental company.

Scott Williams, Josh Powell’s attorney, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he has no information about the rental car. Josh Powell traveled to Washington state over the weekend with the children to be with family for the Christmas holiday, Williams has said.

McLachlan has said Josh Powell has provided police with only vague information about his camping trip, but acknowledged that the 4-year-old boy confirmed the outing in an interview with police.

“We have an open, standing request to talk to him, whenever he wants to come in for an interview,” McLachlan said. “At this point he’s refusing to do so through his attorney.”

The Associated Press

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