Susan Powell's husband: I could never hurt her

Ever since Utah housewife Susan Powell disappeared in December of 2009, only one person has been named by police as their primary person of interest -- her husband, Josh Powell.

Now, he's speaking out about her disappearance for the first time, in an emotional in-depth interview, to "Early Show" contributor Hattie Kauffman.

Josh Powell has largely kept silent about the case, until now.

Asked if he had anything to do with her disappearance, a red-eyed Powell said simply, "No."

Photos: Susan Powell

Did he kill his wife?

"I would never even hurt her. People who know me know that I could never hurt Susan."

Susan Powell vanished from the family home in West Valley City Utah.

Josh also left the house that cold winter night, later telling authorities he'd taken the couple's two toddlers on an after-midnight camping trip. The next morning, police found Susan's purse and ID in the home. And Josh instantly became the focus of the missing person investigation.

"Right now, Josh really is our only person of interest," West Valley City Police Capt. Tom McLachlan said at the time.

"In retrospect," Kauffman asked, "do you think about how bad it looks that you left the house at midnight with the two boys?"

Josh replied, "We've gone out and done things like that before. ... Sometimes we go out looking for rocks."

"Were you looking for rocks that night? Was that a rock hunting trip?"

"We just were playing," Josh responded.

"One report said it was a blizzard," Kauffman pointed out, adding, "Nobody goes camping in a blizzard."

"Yeah -- maybe in the days the followed," a blizzard hit.

"But," Kauffman noted, "she didn't take her purse, her cell phone, her kids. People say it just doesn't make sense."

"A lot of things don't make sense," Josh said. "At first, I had no idea what to think."

Animosity between Josh and Susan's fathers escalated this week, with a public shouting match caught on camera by the Salt Lake Tribune.

A judge has issued an order forcing Josh and his father-in-law to stay at least 500 feet away from each other, and restricting how much Susan's father can see his grandsons.

"I just think," Josh told Kauffman, "it underscores the tension; there's a lot of high emotions, obviously, on both sides."

Josh says he believes it's possible his wife ran off with another man.

Caught in the middle of this family drama is a pair of young boys who have spent almost two years without their mother.

"We still look at videos," Josh said. "We look at photos.

"These boys love their mommy," he said chocking up.

"What do you tell them about her?"

"Frankly, including THIS boy (meaning himself) -- I tell them that we don't know where she is. What else can I tell them?"

Josh denies reports that he's been uncooperative with the police. He says he'll answer any questions they have, as long as they go through his attorney.

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