Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Tribune reporters Melinda Rogers (left), Brooke Adams (middle), and Nate Carlisle (right) have been covering the Susan Powell case since the West Valley City woman disappeared from her home in 2009. They will be reviewing tip submissions to the Tribune's new "Where is Susan?" web page.
Tribune readers invited to re-examine Susan Powell case
Where is Susan? » Readers can review timeline, clues and stories and offer tips.
First Published Apr 28 2012 08:52 pm • Last Updated Feb 01 2013 04:41 pm

It may be that the mystery of what happened to Susan Powell will never be unraveled, leaving only an endless number of possibilities about why and how and who was involved when the young mother vanished from her West Valley City home more than two years ago.

Such mysteries happen, sad to say, with alarming frequency in Utah and elsewhere. Boys, girls, men and women disappear without a trace, triggering widespread public searches that sometimes uncover unthinkable acts and heart-rending tragedies — and other times never fill the gap in the story, never turn up answers.

At a glance

Where is Susan?

A new Salt Lake Tribune Web page, www.sltrib.com/findsusan, allows readers to review how the tragic story of Susan Powell’s disappearance has unfolded and contribute details that may hold answers to what happened to the young mother.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

And so The Salt Lake Tribune believes it is worthwhile for both us and our readers to go back to the beginning to re-examine those first days when Susan’s disappearance became public. It is worth engaging in an ongoing, interactive discussion with readers to rethink what we’ve learned since then. We understand that police have far more evidence in their closely guarded case, but as yet no answer.

It’s worth asking, as we do on our newly launched Web page, "Where is Susan?"

Today, of course, we know more about the circumstances that surrounded Susan Powell’s life in December 2009 — the money problems, the troubled marriage, the secret preparations she made to leave her husband, Josh, if their relationship didn’t improve. We know — because she herself told numerous friends and family and left a hand-written letter presciently stored in a bank box — that Susan felt threatened by her husband and feared something might happen to her that would look like an accident but, in fact, would be murder.

We also know now the unusual trajectory this particular case would follow, with each new turn more unimaginable than the last, from the public fight over Susan’s personal journals to the revelations Susan’s father-in-law was so obsessed with her that he crafted songs with her in mind, surreptitiously filmed her in her underwear and pasted her face over images of other nude women.

But few twists were more shocking than what happened in February, when Josh Powell — perhaps feeling backed into a corner by an ongoing battle with Susan’s parents over custody of sons Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5 — killed himself and the boys in a fire set at his rented Washington home. In that selfish move, Josh Powell made sure that if he could not have the boys, no one would.

With that act, Josh Powell also may have ensured there would be no answer, ever, to the question of what happened to Susan. That’s an ending no one, from Susan’s family and friends to the thousands of strangers who made the cause their own, wants to accept.

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

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.