State Sen. Pam Roach today demanded that the Department of Social and Health Services turn over all records it has received from Utah police about its investigation of Josh Powell; his missing wife, Susan Cox Powell; and the treatment of his two boys, Charlie and Braden. The Auburn Republican, never one to shy away from the public spotlight, suggests that the agency may have ignored or not acted on warnings West Valley City police provided.
Cox Family Photo: Braden, 5 (left), and Charlie, 7
"It appears DSHS was forewarned about information regarding Joshua Powell and the treatment of his boys," said Roach. "DSHS needs to come clean with what they knew. Having information pertinent to the welfare of the Powell children, and not acting on it, may have actually contributed to their deaths."
Roach also today fired off a letter to DSHS Sec. Robin Arnold-Williams, asking her to hand over the records, citing the Washington Public Records Act.
The lawmaker maintains that West Valley Police on Feb. 1 had been conducting a murder investigation into Susan Powell's disappearance for at least six months and "discovered information specially related to their children's welfare." The information, wrote West Valley Police, was provided to Washington state authorities.
DSHS spokesman Tom Shapley told Seattle Weekly that the agency will comply with Roach's request and "whatever we can share legally, we will." Shapley stressed that DSHS never received from West Valley Police "any warnings about any risk of danger or violence to those two boys."