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Police Get DNA Samples From Missing Utah Woman’s Husband

Salt Lake Tribune via YellowBrix

December 17, 2009

Police have obtained DNA samples from Joshua Powell as part of their investigation into the disappearance of his wife, Susan Powell.

West Valley City police Capt. Tom McLachlan said investigators have taken DNA samples from multiple people in the search for 28-year-old Susan Powell, and the warrant served Tuesday does not imply her husband is a suspect.

“We hope to have him come in for a more extensive interview, but I don’t know if a date or time has been set for that,” McLachlan said Tuesday night.

Joshua Powell answered some “basic” questions at the station Tuesday, a day after he cancelled a police interview that was scheduled for Monday, McLachlan said.

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Powell’s attorney Scott C. Williams said Powell sought legal counsel shortly before the scheduled meeting.

“I needed time to get information so I could advise and consult,” Williams said, explaining why Powell cancelled Monday’s interview. Williams would not discuss details of Tuesday’s exchange with police.

Also Tuesday, friends of Susan Powell filled some of the silence with information about long-simmering difficulties in their marriage and details about how the couple met.

According to court documents, Joshua Powell filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in April 2007 and listed more than $200,000 in credit card, furniture, student loan and other debts.

That debt put a stress on the couple’s relationship, several sources told The Salt Lake Tribune.

Even before the bankruptcy, friends had counseled Susan Powell to leave her husband, who was “very, very controlling,” said Rachel Marini, who met the couple shortly after they wed in 2001.

“She had lots of people tell her to end it and get a divorce because it was not worth going through that kind of heartache,” Marini said. “But Susan didn’t want to give up on her marriage.”

Marini’s husband, Tim, met Joshua Powell in 1999 at the singles ward in Tacoma, Wash. The couples were close until Rachel Marini had a falling out with Joshua Powell during a road trip from Utah to Washington several years ago.

However, the Marinis stayed close with Susan via Facebook. Over the past year or so, Susan told the couple the relationship “was still pretty bad, but that for the first time, Susan started standing up for herself,” Rachel Marini said.

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