Special Reports

Missing woman’s family to move

A month after a former Puyallup woman was reported missing in Utah, her husband began packing for a permanent move to Washington.

Joshua Powell, the husband of Susan Powell, returned to Utah from Puyallup to retrieve his belongings, say friends and a spokeswoman for Susan Powell’s parents. He and the couple’s two young sons, Charlie, 4, and Braden, 2, had been staying with Joshua Powell’s father in Puyallup since Christmas.

Friends of the Powells have said Joshua Powell was fired from his job as a computer programmer for a trucking and warehousing company and now plans to sell the family’s home.

Joshua Powell remains the only person of interest investigators have identified in his wife’s case. He gave police a DNA sample but has not spoken with investigators in detail about his wife’s disappearance since hiring an attorney to represent him.

Police in West Valley City, Utah, still are awaiting state crime lab reports on the DNA tests and fiber evidence taken from the Powell home.

“We are not at a standstill by any means,” police Capt. Tom McLachlan said, noting the DNA results generally take four to eight weeks to process. “At this point, with the information we’ve got and the resources we’ve got, we’re feeling the situation will be resolved.”

Last month, police took fingerprint evidence off the front door of the Powell home and collected several items, including a bedspread and a carpet cleaner, according to neighbors.

Police have confirmed they found a large wet spot in the home with fans aimed at it to dry on the day Susan Powell was reported missing.

McLachlan said police are not concerned about the possible sale of the Powell home as evidence has already been gathered. But Joshua Powell’s limited responses during police interviews have hampered the investigation, he said.

“What we’ve tried to do is verify what he’s told us in the limited interviews that he’s given,” McLachlan said. “Without his cooperation, it does seem a little bit at odds. It doesn’t help move the investigation forward.”

Friends and family members of Susan Powell, including parents Chuck and Judy Cox, have detailed the couple’s financial and marital problems.