WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Gone without a trace, Susan Powell went missing more than two years ago from her West Valley City Home. Her husband, Josh Powell, is the only person of interest. Since Susan’s disappearance the case has become a saga of finger pointing which has lead to accusations of lies, sex and abuse. The latest comes in the form of a website published by Josh’s brother Michael. It states Susan’s parents are abusing Josh and Susan’s two boys and child protective services in Washington is covering it up.
On the website, Michael writes, "The [Coxes] are extremely reckless caretakers and for the short time my nephews have been in the Cox house, the [Coxes] have subjected them to two severe injuries requiring ER visits. One of which has left my nephew with scar tissue that he will carry for the rest of his life."
On January 11th Braden, the youngest Powell boy, burned his foot in a self-heating pot of boiling liquid the Coxs were reportedly using for their construction project. The Coxs say it was an accident, but Michael suggests it may have been done purposefully out of frustration.
Josh and Michael’s sister Jennifer Graves say the allegations of abuse are ridiculous. "The Coxs are not abusive,” said Graves. “Kids get hurt. My kids get hurt if you don't know that you don't have kids."
Graves hasn’t spoken to her family since after Susan’s disappearance, but she has spoken to police. That hasn’t stopped her brother from naming her on his website as a viable lead police haven’t followed up on.
"I've volunteered information,” said Graves. “I have sought them out and talked to them. I'm not hiding anything they want to talk to me I’m here.”
On the website, Michael is calling for a Justice Department investigation of the West Valley City Police Department because of negligence, taxpayer fraud, slander, harassment, false imprisonment, kidnapping and child mutilation. The Powell family wants the boys back, but Graves herself says they're not safe in her father's home.
Josh and two boys were staying at Steve Powell’s house in Washington until Steve was arrested on voyeurism and child porn charges. Graves said, “They've got evidence. Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it's not there."
Kiirsi Hellewell is a good friend of Susan’s. Like Graves, she says the children are better off in the Cox’s care.
"I know the Coxs are wonderful people and they would never hurt anyone let alone their grandchildren that they love and adore,” said Hellewell. "Susan described her father-in-law Steve Powell as the devil on earth and one of the reasons she and Josh moved to Utah was to get away from him."
Both Graves and Hellewell question the timing of the website and latest allegations. A custody hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. "Josh is feeling desperate and trying to get everything he can to sway opinion on his side for the next court hearing coming up,” said Hellewell.
An attorney for the Cox family says the boys are safe. Anne Bremner writes, “The children are in a safe and loving home with their maternal grandparents… all responsible for overseeing and monitoring the safe placement of these boys (e.g. the guardian ad litem, DSHS and CPS) are fully advised in the premises and have every confidence that the children are safe, well-placed, loved and well.”