Susan’s father, Charles Cox, filed the petition arguing that the children’s father, Josh Powell, is not a suitable custodian. The petition said, “mother has been missing since December 2009 and petitioners believe father [Josh Powell] is responsible for her disappearance.”
The custody petition comes just a day after Josh Powell’s father Steven Craig Powell, 61, was arrested on 14 counts of voyeurism involving two child victims and one count of possession of depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Josh and Susan Powell’s two sons were removed from Steven Powell’s home and placed in protective custody following his arrest. “I’m relieved that the children are no longer in the household,” Charles Cox said after court Friday. He went on to say that he is doing everything he can to get custody of his grandchildren.
Though the investigation and arrest of Steven Powell is not related directly to the search for Susan Powell, detectives discovered the sexually explicit images while searching for evidence in the investigation of Susan Powell’s disappearance.
On August 25, detectives from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and the West Valley City Police Department searched Steven Powell’s residence seeking evidence in the investigation of Susan Powell. The search of the Powell residence resulted in the seizure of thousands of photographs and video recordings.
On September 13, West Valley City Utah Police detectives were reviewing the evidence in the Susan Cox Powell case and discovered “thousands of images of females being videotaped without their knowledge,” court documents said. “Some of the images were of Susan Powell, but many of the images were of other females. Most of these images were in public, but the photographer focused on the women’s buttocks, breasts, and intimate areas.”
According to court documents, several of the images were of young girls and some were shot using a zoom lens through a window.
On September 17, Pierce County Sheriff’s detectives obtained a search warrant to further investigate the Powell residence for the possible crimes of voyeurism or child pornography. Pierce County Sheriff’s detectives identified and contacted several victims, including minors and adults. None of the alleged victims said they had granted permission to, or were even aware of, being photographed or videotaped in their homes.
At 1:30 p.m. Friday, Steven Powell was scheduled to be arraigned on 14 counts of voyeurism and possession of video depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
A Pierce County judge set Powell's bail at $200,000. Powell is not allowed to have any contact with minors.