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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Josh Powell, looking at a family photo from his 2002 college graduation, said his wife, Susan, is “extremely unstable,” and that he believes mental illness drove her to leave her family behind. Josh Powell is living in Puyallup, Wash., with his father and children.
Josh Powell speaks: My wife, Susan, left us behind
Disappearance » But missing woman’s family says son-in-law is looking for someone besides self to blame.
First Published Nov 08 2010 10:07 am • Last Updated Feb 05 2012 08:47 pm

Editor’s note: This story, originally published on Nov. 8, 2010, is based on one of the most extensive media interviews Josh and Steve Powell granted following Susan Powell’s 2009 disappearance.

Puyallup, Wash. -- Despite pressure from police and the public, Josh Powell has remained tight-lipped about why he thinks his wife disappeared or how she might be found.

At a glance

Susan Cox Powell timeline (PDF)

http://bit.ly/96wSTQ

— The investigation West Valley City police have gathered and analyzed a raft of evidence in connection with the case: Fibers and a computer taken from the Powell home DNA from Josh Powell Josh and Susan’s blue minivan, which was tracked by a GPS device in the months after Susan’s disappearance Phone records They may have examined a journal sources have previously said Susan kept at her workplace
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But this week the husband of Susan Cox Powell broke his silence to say his wife is "extremely unstable," and that he believes mental illness drove her to leave her family behind.

Only reduced scrutiny from her family and the public, he said, will speed her return.

"She knows she will be chewed up like hamburger when she comes back," Josh Powell said in a Wednesday interview with The Salt Lake Tribune.

He complained his wife's family has created an image of her that puts her under too much pressure.


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"She can't come back with them treating her this way," Josh Powell said. "They want her to be perfect, a saint with no fallibility."

Susan's family and friends have openly criticized Josh Powell's level of cooperation with investigators and recounted instances of controlling and abusive behavior toward his wife. Yet Josh Powell said his wife's family must stop lying about him and be more accepting of an imperfect Susan.

"She doesn't have as much strength as they like to think she has," Josh Powell said.

But he also tearfully described Susan as "a good person and a good wife and a good mother."

Susan's parents say they aren't the problem, and that their son-in-law and his family are unhappy they have been criticized. They continue to believe their daughter would never have left her two young sons.

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— How to help Anyone with information about the case may contact West Valley City Police at 801-840-4000.


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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