Special Reports

Family fight continues in Susan Powell case

The father of a Utah mother who has been missing for two years said Monday he will fight the release of pages from her diary. But the family of her husband Josh Powell, who is under a cloud of suspicion in her disappearance, say the pages show she had tried to commit suicide as a teen and could have walked away from her family, as they suspect.

The debate comes days after authorities searched a sprawling network of abandoned mines outside Ely, Nev., but didn't reveal any new evidence. The renewed interest into Susan Cox Powell's disappearance comes as both families have publicly traded accusations over her fate.Chuck Cox, Susan's father, and Steve Powell, Josh's father, argued loudly in Puyallup, on Saturday. The families are scheduled to meet in court Tuesday, with Josh requesting a restraining order against Chuck.

The family of Josh, whom authorities have called a person of interest in his wife's disappearance, is backing up assertions that Susan ran off with another man in December 2009, leaving her husband and two sons, by saying that pages from her diary prove she had a history of erratic behavior.

Alina Powell, Josh's sister, said in an interview Monday that she would email The Associated Press key selections and also post them online. The family already released a preview of the information to KTVX in Salt Lake City (http://bit.ly/qS3qN0 ).

Chuck objects to the release of information from his daughter's journals.

"They don't have authority to do it," Chuck said. "If she is alive, which they claim, she then still maintains control over her writings, copyright wise. If they publish it, I'm prepared to take action. I have an attorney and we're waiting."

Chuck said that the information already released by the Powells comes from when his daughter was a teenager.

In one passage, the television station reports, Josh claims that Susan had written she had "taken 10 Ibuprofen" but then later stated she "wasn't trying to kill herself."

Steve, according to the TV station, said this information shows "that Susan led a double-life from the time she was 13, 14, or possibly even 12."Chuck said he believes Susan was about 13 at the time of the incident, which his family recalls involving six pills of the over-the-counter headache medication. Cox said his daughter was taken to an emergency room as a precaution, but was released. A health policy in place at the time required a social worker visit after such an incident, Chuck said.

"They concluded that she was not suicidal," he said. "In Steve's mind, that proves that she was."

Susan was last seen at her home on Dec. 6, 2009. She was reported missing the next day when she failed to show up for her job in West Valley City, Utah.

Alina says her family has cooperated with the FBI, and will continue to do so, but they have nothing new to contribute. She said the family allowed its Puyallup home to be searched last year without a warrant. Alina said authorities haven't contacted the family for over a year "and we have sent things as recently as few months ago, when we think of thing that may be leads."

Alina says her brother has already attempted to cooperate with police.

"Josh spoke extensively to police but when they began lying to him he said, 'I guess I need an attorney.' They haven't called us since then. We haven't seen or heard from the West Valley City police," she said.

She also says Josh would be willing to speak with the FBI — as long as they pay his lawyer's fees.

Josh recently told the Salt Lake Tribune that he is willing to talk with federal authorities, but not West Valley City police.

He told the newspaper that he considered the search in Ely an opportunity for authorities to set him up.

"It occurred to me," Josh said, according to the paper, "they were planting something in Ely so they could magically show it to the media."

The FBI Utah office's spokeswoman Debbie Dujanovic Bertram declined comment Monday. And a message left for Josh Powell's Salt Lake City attorney Scott Williams was not immediately returned.

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