The Disappearance of Susan Powell
I’ve heard from many of you on Twitter and the DrPhil.com message boards, and I know that a lot of shows were preempted by the Olympics. But there is one story that I want to make sure y’all know about, because it can’t get swept under the rug. That’s the case of the missing mom from Utah, Susan Powell.
The Dr. Phil team and I were just astounded when we heard the details about this story. The whole thing makes me shake my head and wonder what’s happened to common sense. Susan’s husband, Josh, was the last to see the young mom before he went camping with their two young children in the middle of the night in freezing temperatures, more than two hours from their home. Josh is now a person of interest and is allegedly not participating in the search for his wife.
When you look at the circumstances, we don’t know if Josh is involved or not, I can’t speak to that — he has not been charged with a crime — but common sense tells me that Josh needs to be cooperating with authorities to find Susan, and according to his family members, he’s not.
Susan’s parents, Chuck and Judy, and Josh’s sister, Jennifer, who was very close to Susan, joined us on the show to share their viewpoints and feelings about the case. As you can imagine, Chuck and Judy are just devastated by their daughter’s disappearance. And Jennifer is really torn, because this is her brother, but she says she cannot explain why he won’t cooperate in the efforts to find Susan.
The family is afraid that in our fast-paced society, that this case is going to fall off the radar, and people are going to forget about their missing daughter, sister-in-law and friend. Personally, I’m baffled by Josh’s story. Our producers checked the weather and even visited the campsite, and it was 15 degrees there with snow. And then, he forgot what day it was? It just seems totally inexplicable.
The father of Elizabeth Smart, Ed, also joined us. His perspective is so insightful, because at one point, he was a person of interest in his daughter’s disappearance. One of the first things I asked him was to contrast his behavior with Josh’s behavior. Ed completely cooperated and did everything he was asked to do.
I’ve done many shows about missing persons, and each one just breaks my heart. You hope for an outcome like with the Smart family, where the child is found, but as a parent, there’s nothing more heart-wrenching than the thought of something happening to your child or fearing that they’ll be abducted. I’d like to caution everyone to pay attention to the warning signs. If there’s something that’s just not right in your life, that you fear for the outcome, reach out for help: call the community mental health center in your area, go to your church, tell a friend or a family member, but please don’t just push it out of your mind. It could save your life, or the life of your loved one.
Let’s not let Susan Powell’s disappearance fall off the radar. Talk about it, share your comments below. And, if you have any information regarding the disappearance of the young mother, please contact police at (801) 840-4000.