Susan Cox Powell's children claimed she was 'in the trunk' when they went camping before her disappearance

Susan Cox Powell's children claimed she was 'in the trunk' when they went camping before her disappearance

Susan Cox Powell was only 28 years old when she mysteriously vanished from her home in West Valley City in Utah in 2009, never to be seen or heard from again. It has been a decade since her disappearance, and the questions about what really happened still remain unanswered. 

Oxygen Media will be releasing a new documentary titled 'The Disappearance of Susan Cox Powell' on May 4 that will be a four hour long series. It will reveal new developments and never-before-seen videos, to try and understand what happened to the missing mother.

The disappearance

After Susan's disappearance, her husband Josh Powell gave the authorities a very bizarre alibi to the authorities and claimed that, after his wife went to bed, he decided to take their two small boys — 7-year-old Charlie and 5-year-old Braden — on a spontaneous camping trip in the middle of the night. He added that they did not return till the next day, well after Susan had gone missing on December 7, 2009. 

Josh had shared that he had taken the children camping at the Simpson Springs Recreation Area and had left his wife back at home. That temperatures that night were freezing. The authorities searched the area where Josh said that he had been camping but did not find any signs of a campsite. 


Josh Powell, husband and a person of interest

Susan's husband Josh did not show up for his interview with the police and the West Valley City police believed that this meant the husband was working interested in finding Susan. Josh was then named as a person of interest in the case which is a label he held until he died.

In 2010, Josh told the Salt Lake Tribune that mental illness and instability is what caused Susan to leave the family.

Eventually, the Powell children were taken away from Josh and moved to Susan's father Chuck Cox's house though Josh was allowed supervised visits. According to a judge, the children had to remain with Susan's parents until Josh had gone through a psychosexual evaluation. 

Funeral for both Susan Cox Powell's sons- Charlie Powell (R) and Braden Powell (L) (Source: Getty Images)

He then claimed that he was "a fit and loving father who provides a stable home even in the face of great adversity" and that it was "time for my sons to come home."

On February 5 in 2012, Josh emailed his custody attorney Jeffrey Bassett saying he was sorry before setting fire to his home, killing himself and his children. 

Susan's parents Chuck and Judy Cox 

After the murder-suicide had taken place, Susan's parents' lawyer Steve Downing revealed to AP that the children had started talking to their grandparents about what they remembered from the night that their mother had disappeared.

Downing shared, "They were beginning to verbalize more. The oldest boy talked about that they went camping and that Mommy was in the trunk. Mom and Dad got out of the car, and Mom disappeared."

Judy Cox and Chuck Cox, parents of missing mother Susan Cox Powell (Source: Getty Images)

Both Chuck and Judy recalled how the two children did not want to visit their father on the day they were killed but had to due to a court order. They also spoke of a drawing that one of the children had made which showed the boys in the minivan with Josh driving. When asked where their mother was, Chuck revealed that Braden told him that she was in the trunk.

Steven Powell, Susan's father-in-law 

It is reported that Susan had become an object of obsession for her father-in-law Steven Powell. Steven had been charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and also one count of child pornography. He was also accused of videotaping women including Susan as they would change or were in the bathroom. 

'The Disappearance of Susan Cox Powell'

Susan's disappearance remains a mystery to this day. Oxygen's new documentary, out on May 4, hopes to shed some light on what may have happened.

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