Joshua Powell Makes Surprise Visit to Wife's Vigil

Powell, person of interest in wife's disappearance, travels 900 miles for vigil.

ByABC News via logo
December 10, 2009, 8:15 PM

Dec. 21, 2009 — -- Person of interest Joshua Powell traveled 900 miles with his two sons from his Utah home to make a surprise appearance at a vigil for his missing wife, Susan Powell, in Washington state Sunday.

Though the vigil was organized by Susan Powell's family, her father Chuck Cox said he had no idea Joshua Powell would be there.

"We have no contact of Josh at all," Cox said Sunday. "I didn't know he was coming up here."

Susan Powell, 28, has been missing since Dec. 6 after Joshua Powell, 34, last saw her in the couple's home before he took their sons on a late-night camping trip into a freezing winter storm. Since he faces no charges, police cannot stop him from traveling out of state.

Joshua Powell stood with his son, 4-year-old Charlie, in a chilly downpour Sunday night with dozens of others at the candle-lit vigil and spoke briefly with Susan's sister, The Associated Press reported.

A Utah court issued a subpoena to three Salt Lake TV stations to obtain original video tapes of interviews with Powell following his wife's disappearance.

"Lots of times I just go camping with my boys," Powell told a local CBS News' affiliate then. "Just overnight. We do s'mores and stuff."

Joshua Powell agreed to a police interview early in the investigation, but he became more uncooperative as the search wore on, police said. He failed to show up for a scheduled interview with investigators Dec. 14, and the following day answered only a handful of detectives' questions, West Valley City Police Capt. Tom McLachlan said. Powell was later named a person of interest by police.

The couple was reportedly seeing a marriage counselor and facing daunting financial problems. The Salt Lake Tribune reported the two had filed for bankruptcy, and public records revealed they were $200,000 in debt, including large amounts of credit card debt and student loans.

Joshua Powell's father, Steven Powell, said his son has been "vilified" by speculation.

"The whole thing has just turned into a vilification of Josh, and it will turn into a vilification of me, my ex-wife and my other kids," Steven Powell told The Salt Lake Tribune Sunday.

Steven Powell said Joshua told him he had been fired from his job as a computer programmer for a trucking and warehousing company.