PUYALLUP, Wash. - The family of a missing Utah woman says her husband was controlling, and she was a victim of domestic violence. 28-year old Susan Cox Powell,originally from Puyallup, was last seen at her West Valley City, Utah home on December 7.
We can say without reservation that Susan was a victim of domestic abuse in her own home, said Shelby Gifford, a family friend and spokesperson. Gifford said friends revealed Susan had an adversarial relationship with her husband, Josh Powell. She said he controlled use of the family car, denied her access to the family finances even though she was the primary breadwinner, and even told her which groceries she could and could not buy. This, she said, explained Susan's bountiful garden.
She didn't do it, we found out, because she loved to garden. She did it because she didn't have a budget for groceries. She was told she had to grow the food her children ate, said Gifford.
Josh Powell told police he last saw his wife on Dec. 7 about 12:30 a.m. as he left with the couple's young sons for a winter camping trip. He recently moved to Puyallup with the boys to live with his family.West Valley City police say he has stopped cooperating with their investigation. A message seeking comment Monday from Josh Powell's lawyer Scott Williams was not returned immediately. Powell is a person of interest in the case but has not been charged with a crime.
The Cox family has started a foundation to help families with missing loved ones. The foundation would support programs to prevent domestic violence, create a national database of organizations that help families with missing loved ones and provide free media consulting to publicize and locate missing persons.
Susan's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, will appear on Tuesday's Dr. Phil Show to discuss their case. Dr. Phil airs on KONGTV 6/16 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.