The husband of missing Utah mother Susan Powell said in his first interview in almost a year that he believes reduced public and family scrutiny of her will lead her to return.
Josh Powell maintained that his wife left on her own, and said that he thinks her worries about what will happen when she comes back have kept her in hiding.
"She knows she will be chewed up like hamburger when she comes back," Powell, who has been accused by his wife's family of involvement in her disappearance, said in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune.
He said he blames Susan's family for causing her to leave under pressure.
"She can't come back with them treating her this way," Josh Powell told the newspaper. "They want her to be perfect, a saint with no fallibility."
In the interview, Josh Powell also called his missing wife "extremely unstable" and said he feels her mental illness led to her disappearance.
Susan Powell went missing from the family's home in West Valley City, Utah, on Dec. 6, 2009, the same night that Josh says he packed up their two boys, who were then 2 and 4 years old, for a night of winter camping in the midst of a blizzard.
Josh Powell, who has been highly scrutinized for his alibi, spoke with the Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday. Since his wife's disappearance he has moved his children out of state to stay with his father, Steven Powell.
Though he hasn't been charged in Susan's disappearance, Josh is the only person of interest in the case.
Accusations have also come from Josh's father, Steven Powell, who claims that Susan ran off with another man, saying that "Susan's very sexually motivated."
Steven Powell also alleges a history of mental illness in Susan's family, something he also claimed in an email to ABC News.
"Clearly we think Susan decided to leave," Steven Powell said. "Susan had an occasional tendency to lose control ... much like her mother"
Susan's friends have previously denied this, saying that the couple would frequently argue and threaten each other with leaving.
"They would get in fights and talk about divorce and she would say: 'I'm going to take the kids,'" Susan Powell's close friend Kiirsi Hellewell said. "And he would say, "No, over my dead body.'"
Susan's family, and even Josh's own sister Jennifer Graves, have said they feel that he and Steven Powell are covering something up regarding Susan Powell's disappearance.
"Has he kidnapped her, holding her somewhere? Has he killed her?" Graves asked in September. "Who knows?"
"The whole story is just ridiculous, they've made it up, they just want to make themselves look better, or less guilty I think I should say," Graves said.
This week Josh Powell also added a new detail to one of the case's most glaring elements when he said that a wet spot on a rug in their home that was found the morning after Susan disappeared was caused by a red stain that Susan had decided to clean before she vanished.
Speaking with ABC News, Salt Lake Tribune reporter Nate Carlisle said that Josh, who has remained stoic and mostly silent throughout the time his wife has been missing, began to cry during the interview.
"Josh said Susan was not perfect but, she was a good wife, and a good mother and at that point Josh began to cry," Carlisle said.
"He believes that the police have mishandled this investigation by focusing on him and again Josh feels that she just ran away."