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Susan Powell's father-in-law skipped work at time of disappearance

NBC News

Susan Powell, seen in this undated photo, disappeared from the Salt Lake City area in Dec. 2009.

The tragic saga of a woman who disappeared two years ago in Utah and her husband who later killed himself and their two young sons in Washington State continued to unfold this week with even more puzzling details.

Adding yet another wrinkle to the story, the Salt Lake Tribune learned Tuesday that Josh Powell’s father, Steven Powell, called in sick to work for two days a day after his daughter-in-law Susan Powell disappeared in Dec. 2009. He worked for the Washington State Correctional Industries at the time, selling furniture made by inmates.

The days Steven Powell took off coincide with when Josh Powell rented a Ford Focus and drove it 800 miles before returning it, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.


West Valley City police in Utah would not comment on the absence, but said  investigators believe Steven Powell may have had a role in the disappearance, KING 5 TV in Seattle reported. Susan Powell's body has not been found.

At the time of the disappearance, Josh Powell told police officers that she had run off from a midnight family camping trip. He later moved their two young sons to Washington State, where his father lives.

Then, in early February, during a supervised visit with his sons in Puyallup, Wash., near Tacoma, Josh Powell hacked at them with a hatchet and blew up their home. All three died.

Cops: Josh Powell murder-suicide house was sham set up for social worker visits

Details started pouring out: Susan Powell had written a letter to family and friends, which she had stored at a bank near their home, warning that if she died, it might not have been an accident. Blood was found in the family home. A search warrant revealed that Josh Powell had given police his wife’s cell phone with the memory card removed. The children had started to talk to people about their mother, but then had been promptly shut up by their father.

Steven Powell is currently serving a sentence for possession of child pornography and for secretly videotaping women and girls. He has not cooperated with police in this investigation.

Newly unsealed documents tied to the disappearance of Utah mother Susan Powell have many people questioning why charges were never filed against the woman's husband, Josh Powell, who later killed himself and the couple's young sons. NBC's Miguel Almaguer reports.

Last week, Mark Lindquist, the Pierce County prosecutor in Washington State, said that he did not believe that Steven Powell was involved, according to KING 5. He did, however, say that he would have charged Josh Powell with murder given the evidence that has come out in the last two months.

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