Was Susan Cox Powell killed? State seeks to dismiss $33M award to her parents for wrongful death of grandsons

Josh Powell killed his two young sons when they were brought to his Pierce County home by a state caseworker for a visit in 2012


                            Was Susan Cox Powell killed? State seeks to dismiss $33M award to her parents for wrongful death of grandsons
Susan Powell (Washington Police Department)

TACOMA, WASHINGTON: The state of Washington plans to appeal a multimillion-dollar damage award to the family of the two young boys who were attacked and executed by their father in 2012, while he was under suspicion for the disappearance of their mother, Susan Cox Powell. Susan disappeared on December 6, 2009, from her West Valley City, Utah home, and was presumed murdered by her husband Joshua Powell and three years later, Powell killed himself and his two sons, 7-year-old Charles Joshua and 4-years-old Braden Timothy.

The grandparents of the two boys, Chuck and Judy Cox, have stated to file their own appeal in an effort to sustain damage award for the hideous crime that happened in their family and prevent the state from evading responsibility for actions that contributed to the boys' deaths.  "It’s our position that there’s been a consistent failure going back to when before the children were killed, of taking responsibility by the state," said Anne Bremner, the attorney for the boys' grandparents. The state Department of Social & Health Services is also seeking to obtain a new trial in Pierce County Superior Court just on the damages portion of the verdict. 

According to police, Joshua killed his two young sons when they were brought to his Pierce County home by a state caseworker for a visit in 2012. He locked out the caseworker, killed the boys with a hatchet and later killed himself in an explosive fire that destroyed the home.

Born on October 16, 1981, Susan went missing from West Valley City, Utah, whose disappearance and presumed murder, as well as the subsequent investigation and events, received significant media attention. Her husband, Joshua was the major suspect of the case but was never charged. He gave the authorities a bizarre alibi and claimed that, after his wife went to bed, he decided to take their two small boys on a spontaneous camping trip in the middle of the night. Chuck believes that the night before Susan's disappearance  Joshua had uncharacteristically, offered to make the family dinner and poisoned his daughter. "When I heard that Josh had fixed them pancakes for dinner and put the pancakes on each person's plate, and then cleaned up the dishes immediately afterwards, I mean I just get chills down my back," he told NBC. He found it scary since Joshua never typically helped his wife with domestic chores.

On February 5, 2012, Joshua killed himself and their two young sons, in a murder-suicide after custody of the boys had been awarded to Susan's parents. Susan was only 28 years old when she mysteriously vanished from her home 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. On May 21, 2013, West Valley City police closed their ongoing investigation into Susan's disappearance, declaring that they believed Joshua murdered her and that his brother, Michael, who killed himself in February 2013 after suspicion grew around him had assisted him in concealing her body. Since then, there have been repeated attempts to have Susan legally declared dead.

On July 29, 2008, almost 1.5 years before her disappearance Susan recorded herself documenting her family's assets, Towards the beginning, she says: "Covering all my bases, making sure that if something happens to me, or my family, or all of us, that are assets are documented. [I] hope everything works out and we're all happy, and live happily ever after as much as that's possible." 

Nobody knows what happened to her, as she is still "missing" from the past 10 years and 11 months.

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