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Who is Susan Powell?
Murders A-Z is a collection of true crime stories that throughout history take a look at both unknown and infamous killings. The night of December 6, 2009, when 28-year-old Susan Powell was missing, it unveils many secrets about the Powell family. Who is the murderer? Who is behind her missing?
Susan Powell was born as Susan Cox Powell on October 16, 1981, in Oregon, United States of America. Her father is Steven Powell and mother is Terrica Powell. As for education, Powell attended Oklahoma City University where she studied singing in the opera and musical theater departments under Florence Birdwell and participated in the summer stock at Oklahoma's Lyric Theater.
Later, American actress, singer, and television personality laid her hands in News reporting. Powell worked as a British weather reporter for the BBC. After working as a News Presenter in BBC News, Susan disappeared mysteriously and very suspiciously.
Personal Life: Husband
Before, disappearing, Cox Powell was a married woman. Susan encountered her husband Josh Powell about 40 miles south of Seattle in 2000 at a single churchward in Puyallup, Washington. Josh and Susan Cox Powell tied a nuptial knot in 2001.
In 2004, they relocated to West Valley City, Utah, outside Salt Lake City, partly to get away from Susan's father in law Steve Powell. Powell had reportedly made unwanted progress towards his daughter-in-law.
Both Susan and Josh had two children: Charlie born in 2005 and Braden in 2007. By 2008, however, the Powells' marriage was starting to fall apart.
In Utah, while Josh moved from one job to another, Susan worked for Wells Fargo. With more than $200,000 in debt, he would eventually declare bankruptcy. He had prevented the family from attending church and increased his controlling nature.
Susan shot a video in 2008, saying, "If something happens to my family or all of us or me, our assets are documented." A handwritten will say from the same time period, "If I die, it may not be an accident even if it looks like one," according to ABC News.
Susan and her children went to church on the morning of December 6, 2009, and she visited that evening with a friend before complaining that she was not feeling well and going to bed.
Police broke into the house of the Powell, but discovered it-empty, with two fans in the living room set up to dry a humid sofa. Later on, forensic exams would discover traces of blood from Susan on a tile floor near the couch.
On the afternoon of December 7, Josh Powell and his two sons, then ages 2 and 4, returned home and said that the night before he had decided to take them on a camping trip, despite not leaving until 12:30 AM and the temperatures being below freezing.
When he left, he asserted that Susan was home and did not know her whereabouts. Police declared him a "person of concern" in the disappearance of his wife within a week, CBS News revealed.
Josh and his kids moved back to Puyallup in January 2010, claiming that after being fired from his job, he could no longer afford to live in Utah.
Investigators later discovered that both Josh and Susan had taken out $1 million life insurance policies on their own and told a Christmas party co-worker how "to get away with murder, he'd conceal a body in a mineshaft in Utah's western desert."
Writing anonymously on the SusanPowell.org website, Josh and Steve claimed to be scapegoated for speaking out against the LDS church and later put forward the hypothesis that Susan had run off to Brazil with Steven Koecher, a thirty-year-old Utah man who vanished several days after she was missing.
The truth about Steve Powell (Susan Powell Father in Law)
Steve Powell later went public, stating that Susan was "very sexual with me. She was very flirtatious." His daughter Jennifer Graves, who said Susan was "creeped out" after the elder Powell attempted to kiss her and proposed "share" her with his son, noted The Salt Lake Tribune, contradicted these accusations.
Steve Powell was detained in September 2011 after police found "thousands of pictures of women being filmed without their knowledge" in his home.
In June 2012, ABC News reported that Josh's dad Steve Powell was found guilty on 14 voyeurism charges and convicted to two and a half years in prison. He got an extra five years for possession of child pornography in August 2015, while still in prison.
Death/Murder of Susan Children & Husband
On February 5, 2012, at a rental estate in Graham, Washington, a social worker introduced Susan children Charles and Braden to their monitored visit with their dad. The kids went ahead, and Josh Powell had locked Social Worker out of the house where she smelled of petrol and called 911.
The house exploded moments later, killing all the three people inside the house. Minutes earlier, Powell sent an email to his attorney, saying, "I'm sorry, goodbye," as per the CBS News reported.
Authorities would later discover that Powell planned his murder-suicide meticulously. He gave his children's toys to Goodwill in the days leading up to it, set aside cash for his brothers to pay his bills. He also left that evening a voicemail email to his loved ones saying, "I'm sorry to all I've harmed, Goodbye."
An autopsy would determine that, before igniting two 5-gallon gasoline cans, Powell had hit his two children with a hatchet in the head and neck. At the moment of his death, Josh Powell was 36 years old.
The suicide of Michael Powell
His 30-year-old brother Michael died of suicide, jumping off the roof of a seven-story building in downtown Minneapolis. Michael died almost precisely a year after Josh Powell murdered his children and killed himself.
The Seattle Times revealed that police later said they thought Michael was "strongly engaged" in the supposed disposal of Susan's body. Using his vehicle that he sold to a junkyard when it broke down weeks after her disappearance.
Police found the vehicle and said, "there was a smell of human decomposition" to cadaver dogs, but DNA testing was inconclusive.
Current Case of Susan Cox Powell
To date, Susan Cox Powell's body's place stays a mystery. In 2013, after Michael Powell's suicide, the police formally closed their active inquiry into her disappearance. Searching for her remains in the desert of Utah and Oregon's Powell family estate turned out to be nothing. She is still a missing person and still has to be declared dead.
While a Utah detective is still allocated to the case of Susan Cox Powell, police say “all leads ... have been exhausted and the case has gone cold.”
Net Worth & Salary
Other than the news about her disappearance, there is barely any information about Susan's earning and net worth. While she was working at the BBC, she might earn a pretty good amount of money which could at least sustain her family.