crimesider

After Susan Powell's Disappearance, "Person of Interest" Husband Takes Kids, Leaves Town

(Hardman Photography)
(AP/Chris Detrick)
(Hardman Photography)
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (CBS/AP) Josh Powell, the husband of missing Utah mother Susan Powell, has moved out of the couple's home in a Salt Lake City suburb and moved to Washington state Saturday.

Photo: Susan Powell with Husband Josh Powell and their two sons.

PICTURES: Missing Utah Mother Susan Powell

West Valley City police have named Josh Powell the only person of interest in his wife's Dec. 7 disappearance, but he has not been named a suspect.

Police said they could not prevent the move.

Photo: Joshua Powell attends a news conference on Dec. 12, 2009 in West Valley City.

PICTURES: Missing Utah Mother Susan Powell

"We cannot and are not limiting his ability to move freely," police Capt. Tom McLachlan told the Associated Press on Saturday.

Susan Powell has been missing since early December 2009. She was last seen by her husband, who said he left on a winter camping trip with the couple's children at about 12:30 a.m. that day.

Photo: Susan Powell with her two sons.

PICTURES: Missing Utah Mother Susan Powell

Because of weather conditions police were never able to confirm his story.

"He has not been cooperating with us very much up to this point," McLachlan said. He said they're watching the move, "and we're interested in it, but we can't prevent it."

McLachlan declined to comment on whether his department has been in contact with Washington State authorities.

Asked by reporters if he wanted to say anything before he briefly left his home around noon Saturday, Josh Powell replied "no." Powell has not said specifically where he is moving.

His father and Susan Powell's parents live in Puyallup, a city south of Seattle where the couple met.

Powell's sister, Jennifer Graves, told CBS affiliate KUTV on Friday that she was disappointed about her brother's decision to move.

"We are supposed to be focused on trying to find Susan and I think his place is here with us in Salt Lake, looking for Susan," she said.

Friends said Powell has been fired as a computer programmer for a trucking and warehousing company and may be financially unable to keep the home.

"Without a normal income and Susan's income, there's no way he can hang onto the house," neighbor Ron Stagg, who helped with the move, told the Deseret News.

Following Susan Powell's disappearance, friends and family said the couple were having marital difficulties and undergoing counseling. Court records show the couple had declared bankruptcy.

Police urge anyone with information regarding the case to call West Valley City police at (801) 840-4000.

MEDIA
PICTURES: Missing Utah Mother Susan Powell

VIDEO
Susan Powell's Father Speaks Out

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
December 21, 2009 - Josh Powell Attends Vigil for Missing Utah Wife Susan Powell Despite Being "Person of Interest"
December 16, 2009 - Search for Susan Powell: Husband Josh Powell Lawyers Up But Says He is Cooperating
December 14, 2009 - Susan Powell, Utah Mom Still Missing, as Police Want to Question Husband Again

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