The Disappearance of Susan Cox Powell
She went with them camping, but never returned
It was December 6, 2009 when Susan Cox Powell was last seen alive. She had attended church with her two young children and was last seen when her neighbor left her house that evening around 5:00 PM. The next day she did not make it to work and the boys did not attend daycare. When Susan and Josh did not answer the phone the next day, family members called the police to report them missing. Fearing the family had been victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, the responding officers kicked in the door to their home only to find no one was there. Susan's wallet and identification were left behind and there were two box fans blowing on a newly cleaned couch.
When someone finally got in touch with Josh, he stated that he left Susan at home the night before and took the boys on a camping trip. When questioned about why he hadn't went to work, he explained it away by saying he thought it was Sunday instead of Monday. Although Josh had been their primary suspect in the case, he was never charged. It had been suspected that Josh's father could have murdered her because he had been obsessed with her since they started dating.
When they were living with Josh's father, he would take videos of Susan making inappropriate remarks about her, including telling her to turn around so he could videotape her behind. In those videos, it clearly made her uncomfortable and she had told Josh about it, making him get her a house of their own. He was cleared as a suspect and Josh remained their only lead. During the investigation, the oldest of the two children told investigators that while it was true they went on a camping trip with their dad December 7th, it wasn't true that Susan was left at home. He stated that Susan had went with them, but never returned.
In 2012, Josh did something totally heinous when during a supervised visitation, he took the boys inside, locked the Child Protective Services worker outside, and set the house on fire. During the worker's 911 call found here, you can tell she was totally distraught. The operator was not understanding what she was saying as he thought she was not allowed in the house. He thought someone was supposed to be supervising her, not that she was the supervisor in the visitation. He also did not seem to be doing his job correctly (although I do understand 911 operators have a very difficult job and often get prank calls) because he acted like it wasn't a huge deal.
Not only did Josh set the house on fire with the boys inside, but after the debris was cleared and the investigation was started, they discovered the boys had severe "chop" marks to their head and necks likely from a hatchet.
The disappearance of Susan case has since been closed stating that Josh likely killed her during that camping trip and that his brother helped him. Although without physical evidence, they are unable to charge the brother with the involvement. Even after being fully investigated, it is unclear why Josh would have killed his wife. What's even more interesting in this case is the fact that just a few months before her death, Susan created a will with a handwritten note stating "If I die, it might not be an accident. Even if it looks like one." That is extremely telling of this case as she thought her life was in danger. But even in that handwritten note, it is unclear of WHO she was afraid of or who might want to murder her.
My opinion of this case is in fact that Josh murdered his wife, and then when he found out that his son was telling the police she went with them on the camping trip but never returned, he was afraid the truth would come out. He also lost custody of his children so he couldn't control them anymore and if Susan's murder was, in fact, over control, this would make sense.