As he sat in a chair in a corner of an interview room waiting for a detective to come in and talk to him about his missing wife, Josh Powell stared at his hands.
When the detective entered the room his first statement was very matter of fact.
“On the way over here, I actually did call my attorneys,” said Powell.
The West Valley City Police, in Utah, released nearly four hours of videotaped police interrogations after a public records request.
Josh Powell killed himself and his two boys in a home in Pierce County in February of last year. His death left a lot of questions about what happened to his wife Susan Cox Powell, who disappeared in December of 2009.
Now, after a public records request we learn a little more about Powell through his first police interview after her disappearance.
“Do you want to talk me about your wife?” asked Detective Ellis Maxwell. “And about the situation?”
“I’ve already told you,” said Powell. “I’ve already told you everything. I can’t think of anything. I just, you know, I’ve been told that having an attorney is a better idea.”
“The attorney is not an issue, OK? Because I’m not going to have you call, and have an attorney come up here and go through the whole attorney rigamarole, because you’re not under arrest.”
Maxwell asked Powell why he was so scared of them, since they are trying to solve a missing persons case.
“We need to find your wife. I would think that you would want to me to find your wife,” said Maxwell.
“What kind of questions are they still?” asked Powell.
“There are quite a few questions. I want to go over all of her friends again. I want to go over who she talks to I want to go over her work history. I want to go over where you guys have lived. There is all kind of things,” said Maxwell. “Do you not want to find your wife?”
“Yeah, I do. Yeah.”
“Why are you making this so difficult then?”
“You guys have implied some things so it concerns me.”
“We’ve implied what?”
“You’ve implied that my hands have some kind of defensive wounds on them just because they’re all cut up. It’s just the way they are.”
Through the interview, Powell talks about what he and Susan did in the days before her disappearance. He pauses for lengthy periods of time.
He said he took their two sons camping in the middle of a snow storm because the boys wanted to go. He returned around midnight and told the officers a detail that we hadn’t heard before.
“We stopped to wash the car, because it got pretty dirty out there,” said Powell.
Before Powell returned home with his sons family and friends had already called West Valley City Police reporting the entire family missing.
“Here’s the thing, because kids are very honest, that’s one think I’ve learned in (my) years of doing this job, that when kids talk to us – we’ll listen. Kids are honest. And they never lie, they don’t make things up,” said Maxwell. “So they’re saying they were with you, they were with you. OK? So they say she [Susan Cox Powell] was with you. So I have to believe the kids. So now it’s going to be up to us, if you want to help us find her. And help us get to the bottom of what really happened here.”
“She was not with us, and if my kids said that,” started Powell.
“So your kids lie then? Your kids lie?”
“Sometimes they do. I mean, if they said that she was with us – they know that’s not true.”
After that, Powell becomes more agitated as the police interview continues.
In closing their active investigation into Susan Cox Powell’s disappearance last month, police revealed that they suspected Josh Powell had killed his wife – and that his brother, Michael Powell, had helped dispose of her body.