(SEATTLE, Wash.) — Court documents related to the disappearance of Susan Powell show police had “everything but a body” to build a case against Powell’s husband, leaving the woman’s father to question why Josh Powell was still free last month, when he killed himself and his two sons.
“When I heard them [the new evidence], it was like, well, why didn’t you arrest him already?” said Chuck Cox, Susan Powell’s father. “Had he been to jail, my grandchildren would still be alive.”
Josh Powell, who had been the primary person of interest in the case almost from the time his wife went missing in December 2009, set off an explosion in his Graham, Wash., rental home last month, moments after a Child Protective Services worker had dropped off his sons, Braden, 5, and Charles, 7, for a supervised visit.
The explosion, seconds after Powell pulled the boys inside the house and locked out the social worker, killed him and his boys.
Powell had moved back to Washington from Utah after his wife’s disappearance, initially to live with his father, Steven Powell. He moved out of his father’s house after the older man was charged with voyeurism and child pornography.
The newly released documents show that investigators had a lot of evidence linking Josh Powell to his wife’s disappearance, according to a Washington State prosecutor who handled the charges against Steven Powell.
According to the documents, the last time Susan Powell was seen alive, a friend had been at her house, and told police that Susan suddenly “became tired after eating a meal that was prepared by her husband.”
Susan then went to bed, and was never seen again.
The documents reveal that Susan’s blood had been found on what had appeared to be a spot on the floor next to a sofa where Josh Powell had set up two fans.
Detectives also found a letter Susan had left in a secret safety deposit box in which she said her husband had “threatened to destroy her if they get divorced” and that if she were to die, “it may not be accident, even if it looks like one,” KOMO-TV and The Associated Press reported.
After Susan Powell disappeared, her husband emptied her IRA accounts, KOMO reported.
The new documents say that Josh once bragged to a friend about “how to kill someone, dispose of a body and not get caught.”
Cox, Susan Powell’s father, said that he had wanted to protect his grandchildren, but now that they’re gone, he just wants to find his daughter.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jackie Wattles, CNN
David Williams, CNN
Eliza Mackintosh, CNN
Sara Stewart, CNN