Very sad update: Although Chuck Cox did everything possible to try to protect his grandsons, the system ultimately betrayed him. Josh Powell brutally murdered his sons and himself in a house explosion in Graham, WA on February 5, 2012.
Update: A jury awarded the Cox family $98 million in their lawsuit against Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services on July 31, 2020.
Chuck Cox has achieved the impossible: he got the criminal “justice” folks in Pierce County, WA to take their collective heads out of their collective behinds. Yes, he needed the help of the West Valley, Utah police to embarrass them into it. But, Mr. Cox is a tenaciously stubborn man of deep faith. He has made a commitment to find out what happened to his daughter Susan Cox Powell, who mysteriously disappeared on December 7, 2009. To this end, he has successfully formed strategic alliances with the media and government agencies in two states. Mr. Cox has had many reasons to give up during the past two years, but he didn’t. He has weathered a myriad of spurious attacks from the Powell family ~ especially from Susan’s father-in-law Steven and her husband Josh.
On August 25, the West Valley police conducted a search of the home Mr. Powell shared with his father Steven. On September 22, the elder Mr. Powell was arrested on 15 felony counts of child pornography and voyeurism. One of his alleged victims was his daughter-in-law Susan. He was employed by the Washington Department of Corrections.
The Tacoma News Tribune reported that Assistant Attorney General John Long (representing Child Protective Services) advised the court: The story that Mr. Powell went on a midnight camping trip in a snowstorm [with sons aged two and four], along with the lack of cooperation with law enforcement and other parts of this investigation, certainly should lead you to believe, and leads the state to believe, that he is responsible for the disappearance. . . If it’s true that he is responsible for the disappearance, I think taking a mother away from her children. . .is probably the very worst type of abuse that you could perpetrate on children. Those children have been through hell, frankly.
KOMO News reported that Mr. Long also advised the court that Josh Powell is a subject of the investigation into child pornography involving his father. Further, they reported that Jennifer Graves, estranged sister and daughter of the Powells, echoed Mr. Long’s concerns: I think he’s [Josh] responsible for his wife’s disappearance. More than ever, I’m convinced that [the boys] shouldn’t be with Josh, and they certainly never should have been with my dad. . . I don’t know how you could be in that house and not know about some degree of it [the pornography]. . . I’ve known my dad’s character for a long time. That’s why we chose to stay away from him. We chose our children not to have a personal relationship with him. We made that decision a long time ago and, let me tell you, we’re really really grateful that we did. Pornography was a major factor in her parents’ 1992 divorce.
There is no clear and present danger to my sons.
– Josh Powell
When the police arrived at the Powell home on September 22, they were greeted at the door by Josh’s naked brother. They found a sexually violent poster hanging on the wall of a woman with a sword piercing her body. They also found a hangman’s noose which Josh claimed he used for weight lifting.
Cox family attorney Steve Downing nailed the real reason Josh Powell doesn’t want his sons spending time with their maternal grandparents:
Those kids may know something, and he sure as the dickens doesn’t want them talking to anybody.
The Powell sons will live in the loving, protective embrace of their grandparents Chuck and Judith Cox at least until November 15. The judge has wisely ordered psychological counseling. My hunch is that the older boy knows exactly what happened to his mother. West Valley, UT Police Chief Thayle “Buzz” Nielsen has made a serious commitment to the family:
I promised [Chuck Cox] that we would do everything that is humanly possible, that we just wouldn’t give it up.
If you are a praying kind of person, I hope you will join me in praying for the Cox family. This battle isn’t over ~ not by a long shot.