A hotel worker in Utah said Tuesday she saw Josh Powell and his boys the morning his wife was reported missing.

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A hotel worker in Utah said Tuesday she saw Josh Powell and his boys the morning his wife was reported missing in 2009 — and when the older child asked a question about his mom, they left immediately.

“He didn’t even give the kids time to eat their sweet rolls — each had a small bite on them,” said the worker, Robin Leanne Snyder.

Snyder, 53, said she oversaw the free continental breakfast for guests at the Comfort Inn in Sandy, about 16 miles south of where the Powells lived in West Valley City. When she showed up for work at 6:30 that morning, she said, Josh Powell and the boys were there.

“Charlie looked right up at me and he says, ‘Do you know what happened to my mom?’ So I say, ‘No, what happened to your mom?’ ” Snyder said.

She never got an answer. She was called away to fetch coffee for guests, and when she came back, Powell and the boys were gone, she said.

Josh Powell kept his face down as his older boy spoke up unexpectedly, she said.

Snyder recalled the encounter days later, after Susan Powell’s disappearance began to make news. She said she called a tip line set up by police, but didn’t hear back at the time.

Last summer, she posted a note about the encounter on Facebook — and it was somehow relayed to West Valley City police. A detective interviewed her about two weeks ago, just before the fire in Graham, she said.

The hotel in Sandy would have been generally on the way back from the area where Josh Powell said he took the boys camping to West Valley City. If Powell was at the hotel at 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 7, 2009, it’s not clear what he might have done for the rest of the day. He didn’t return to his home until 5 p.m. — two hours after friends called him to say that police were at the house and that his wife was missing.