A former co-worker of Steven Powell's says her suspicions about his Utah camping trip were aroused last year when he claimed to have had a flirtatious relationship with his daughter-in-law, Susan Powell, who has been missing since 2009.
OLYMPIA — A former co-worker of Steven Powell’s says it was she who contacted authorities about a snowy camping trip he says he took with his son and grandchildren in Utah around the time his daughter-in-law disappeared in 2009.
However, Jennifer Silva, who was laid off from her job at the Department of Corrections more than a year ago, told The Associated Press on Friday she doesn’t know exactly which days Steven Powell might have taken the trip. Silva’s comments are the first suggestion that Steven Powell may have been in Utah in late 2009.
Susan Powell was last seen Dec. 6, 2009. Her husband Josh Powell had said that he took a late-night camping trip in Utah with his two boys on the night Susan Powell disappeared. Josh Powell killed himself and the couple’s two young children in a home fire earlier this year.
While authorities have never named a suspect in the case, they had consistently called Josh Powell a “person of interest.” Steven Powell has never been charged in the Susan Powell case, but he is being held in Washington state on voyeurism charges.
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However, The Salt Lake Tribune has said that Utah’s West Valley City Police Chief Thayle “Buzz” Nielsen has said Steven Powell was “absolutely” being considered as an accomplice in Susan Powell’s disappearance.
Silva said Steven Powell told her “it was cold and snowy” when he went camping with his son, Josh, and grandsons. “He enjoyed sitting around the campfire with them, roasting marshmallows and throwing snowballs,” she said.
Silva said she initially didn’t consider that Steven Powell might have had an involvement in the case. Then, after he claimed having a flirtatious relationship with Susan last year, she began reconsidering her talks with him and wondered whether the camping trip was linked to Susan Powell’s disappearance.
“I believe it is,” Silva said. “It all fits.”