The Justice Files: Susan Cox Powell, 10 years later

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Chuck Cox never thought the search for his daughter would last long. But ten years have passed and there is still no trace of her.

“I’m pretty sure she’s gone but I can’t give up on her because why should I?” asked Chuck Cox from his home in Washington state. “She’s my daughter.”

It was a Sunday night, December 6, 2009, when Susan Cox Powell disappeared.

Her husband, Josh Powell became a prime suspect when his stories of her whereabouts puzzled West Valley police.

Chuck and Judy Cox were aware their marriage was in trouble. Her father spoke with Susan two days before she disappeared.

“She wanted to believe he was, that things were going to get better and live happily ever after eventually,” Cox said. “And he took advantage of that belief.”

It was long suspected that Susan’s body was thrown into an abandoned mine in Utah’s west desert.

Josh Powell moved to Washington state along with his two children. In court, the Coxes were attempting to gain custody of the two boys.

Then the horrifying sight in 2012 shocked his neighborhood and was felt in Utah. Powell torched his own home after killing the two boys.

“Hello this is Josh and I’m calling to say goodbye.”

That was from a voicemail Powell left at his attorney’s office just before he set the house on fire.

“I am not able to live without my sons and I am not able to go on anymore. I’m sorry to everyone I’ve hurt,” Powell said.

Chuck Cox felt Powell was mentally ill on top of being narcissistic.

“It’s very difficult for a normal person to try and understand the mind of somebody who is that much of a monster basically,” Cox said.

Over the years, the Coxes, like other families who have lost their children gather on December sixth at their local cemeteries.

The Christmas Box Angel candlelight vigil has spread throughout the country. Cox and his wife plan to be at their cemetery in Washington state.

“Ten years is you know, we’re not counting how many years or whatever out daughter is just missing,” he said. “We want to find her.”

He said they’ve moved on and do not dwell on their loss. But he says every so often it will bother him.

“Probably the biggest thing is not knowing where she actually is,” he said.
“I can’t go to a gravesite or anything.”

Chuck Cox is attempting to pay it forward. His experience has led him to become an advocate for victims of domestic violence.

“That’s what Susan would want me to do,” he said.

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