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Utahns still searching for Susan Cox Powell 10 years after death of sons

Posted at 10:11 PM, Feb 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-06 00:12:52-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Saturday marked 10 years since Josh Powell killed his two sons in a house fire in Washington state, two years after his wife Susan Cox Powell went missing.

Susan's disappearance captivated the nation, but it was Josh killing himself and their boys, Charlie and Braden, that was the most shocking of all.

On Feb. 5, 2012, Josh locked the door on a social worker, and before anything could be done, the house in Graham, Washington was lit ablaze.

FOX 13 News spoke with some who knew Susan and the boys best about how they say her story has helped other survivors of domestic violence.

“I have personally been messaged by many, many women,” said Kiirsi Hellewell, Susan’s best friend. "[They] tell me, 'I just want you to know that your friend did not die for nothing. I am alive today and so are my children because of her story.'”

Another who says she's heard "thousands of stories" is Debbie Caldwell, Braden and Charlie’s child care provider.

A renewed effort to find Susan’s final resting place was underway Saturday in a remote area of Utah.

At an abandoned mine in the West Desert, Dave “Heavy D” Sparks of the show "Diesel Brothers" is digging to see if he can find her. He's posted his account of the search on YouTube:

While on this sad milestone, those who knew her best are remembering Susan, they also say the good that's come from her story — with the lives of other domestic violence survivors being saved — gives them peace.

"People will look at Susan's picture and her sons and realize this was a beautiful, amazing soul who left this life way too early,” Kiirsi Hellewell said, “because of a very wicked person. This could be your neighbor and you don't even know. It could be all smiles and everything seems fine. So please, please check up on each other. Care about each other. Love each other.”