Cadaver dogs are set to search the former Washington state home of Steven Powell, the ex-father-in-law of missing woman Susan Powell, for any evidence or information that could lead to her whereabouts, according to an attorney for her family, states a May 20, 2014 NBC News report. NBC News indicates the home was obtained by Steven’s next door neighbors after they sued him following his conviction in 2012 for voyeurism, which included taking photos of the neighbors’ two daughters using the bathroom.
Seattle based lawyer, Anne Bremner, said a definitive date for the search has not yet been set, but noted it should happen in a few weeks. The Standard Examiner reports Bremner won a $2 million dollar judgment on behalf of the neighbors, who purchased Steven’s Puyallap home at auction and want to give Susan’s family access to it.
Susan’s husband, Josh Powell, had initially been the only person of interest in his wife’s disappearance. He alleged that the December 2009 night his wife vanished, he and his two young sons – then ages 2 and 4 – were on a camping trip in freezing cold temperatures in the remote Tooele County, Utah desert area at around midnight. He claims they slept in a minivan and when they returned home the next day, Susan, 28, was gone. He rented a car two days later and drove hundreds of miles in the vehicle – offering no viable explanation to police about the rental. Only a month later, he packed up his children and moved from his Utah home to Puyallup to move in with his father, Steven.
Josh lost custody of his children in Sept. 2011 after Steven, whom he lived with at the time, was arrested on charges involving child pornography. Josh had subsequently rented a home of his own, but was denied custody of the boys on Feb. 1, 2012. He was ordered to undergo psychosexual evaluation due to incestuous images discovered on his computer prior to the court considering his custody request. The evaluation was also slated to include a polygraph examination.
Josh and Susan's two sons began living with Susan’s parents, Chuck and Judy Cox. On Feb. 5 at around 12:45 p.m. PT, a case worker, Elizabeth Griffin-Hall, brought Josh's sons -- Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5 -- to his home for a supervised visit. She told authorities that after they arrived and the boys went inside the house, Josh blocked the door and would not let her enter, after which an explosion took place destroying the home. Griffin-Hall was not physically harmed. The Pierce County Medical Examiner announced the two Powell children sustained chops on their necks with a small ax or hatchet and were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning before the home went up in flames.
Steven pleaded guilty to 14 charges of voyeurism and one count of possession of child pornography. Authorities allege he had been surreptitiously filming women – including Susan – and also noted he took video of the two young neighbor girls as they used the toilet and bathed.