Josh and Susan Powell's daycare provider, Debbie Caldwell, sounded an alarm when the couple's boys, Charlie and Braden Powell, failed to arrive at her home on the morning of Monday, Dec. 7, 2009. West Valley City police detective Ellis Maxwell drew the assignment of locating the missing family that day and discovered two box fans in the missing family's home, pointed at the couch. When Josh Powell returned to Sarah Circle with the boys that afternoon, Maxwell was waiting with a long list of questions.

For the past three years, investigative reporter Dave Cawley has been studying thousands of police documents, journals, videos and diary entries. He has tracked down new sources, followed new leads and traced Josh Powell's trail from West Valley City, Utah, through Idaho, Oregon, Nevada and on to Washington State, where Powell killed himself and his two sons.

Cold is the most complete retelling of the Susan Powell story ever. Join Dave Cawley in his search for truth. Share your thoughts: #ColdPodcast #FindSusan 

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00:00:00this podcast discusses domestic violence criminal behavior murder and adult themes while not explicit listener discretion is advised snow plows were out in the predawn darkness a significant winter storm was sweeping across much of the United States on the morning of Monday December seventh two thousand and nine it
00:00:28dropped snow from the Sierra Nevada to the Great Lakes a few inches had already fallen on the floor of Utah's Salt Lake valley during the overnight hours Debbie Caldwell was up early as she always was preparing for the arrival of her daycare kids they trickled in shedding coats
00:00:44and caps some still rubbing sleep from their eyes they arrived with red snotty noses from the sub freezing cold in the care of anxious parents who were bracing for a work week that was starting off with a bad commute Debbie marked the time of each arrival on her
00:01:00log two of the kids Charlie in Brighton Powell weren't there which is odd because they usually arrived like clockwork at six forty AM on Mondays Tuesdays and Fridays pickups in the afternoons were another matter Josh their dad made a habit of showing up late or not at all
00:01:20that could be a blessing because he made the other parents uncomfortable they had a nickname for Josh they called him rocks for brains Debbie didn't much care for Josh herself she also didn't care for clients who showed up late but a little delay made sense that morning in
00:01:38light of the weather she continued with her Monday routine expecting Charlie in braid into arrive at any minute the clock ticked past seven AM and then eight still no sign of the powers I was thinking this is not like Susan so I %HESITATION called the house and then
00:01:57%HESITATION when I didn't get any phone call it house I thought well maybe she was running late to work or something and so Josh took a dropped her often and he's running doing something else so I called her direct line at her job and didn't get any answer
00:02:13there and so then I called his work and they said he hadn't shown up and so I became a little concerned because the week before Susan had talked to my husband about how to fix the furnace and change the filters and get the furnace ready to go for
00:02:31the season and so I became a little concerned that something was wrong and maybe they were in the house and they were suffering from carbon monoxide Debbie had her hands full though six other kids needed her attention some word do at school she loaded them into our van
00:02:47and hit the road but concern nagged her she decided to detour from the school grounds to Josh and Susan's house she pulled into the coldest sack her van rolling part way up the driveway of the powerhouse making first tracks in the virgin snow there was no tire tracks
00:03:04coming out of the garage there was no foot print so I pounded on the door and pounded on the door I didn't get any answer so I was on as I was on a school run I had other children that I was carrying four inch that I needed
00:03:17to get to school so I went back to to my van and I %HESITATION pulled up her emergency contact ridged it's on the form and so I called the emergency contact which was Jennifer grace and then I went to that drop the kids off at school Jennifer graves
00:03:33was Josh Powell sister I woke up kind of feeling a little bit relieved and happy and looking forward to the future because we've had a really hard to hear we close to business those failing we've had some other significant issues with other family members and that was just
00:03:58a very difficult and we felt like those things were being handled in behind us and we've we've gone through the worst of it and as far as I was pretty optimistic about the future and then we got that phone call from Debbie and it was just devastating completely
00:04:21service for a loop again Jennifer told Debbie she hadn't heard from her brother or sister in law that morning she grabbed her kids and her mom Teresa and started driving the snowy roads north to where Josh and Susan's house Jennifer lived in west Jordan that's about a fifteen
00:04:36minute drive away on a good weather day from Serra circle well on the way to reset dialed nine one one was nine fifty three AM why anything this morning the normally going to working hello it's funny because they're not responding few people come in on their door no
00:05:03tracks coming out of the driveway it was an a little while hello I haven't had any yeah and it's not like not call their daycare lady there very dependable vehicles learn like Debbie Terry worried a furnace malfunctioned might have filled the house answer circle with carbon monoxide gas
00:05:30right now okay notified they're going to be %HESITATION in or out there responded to six two five three west serviceable just thirty nine forty five we arrived before the police and tried to see if we could get into the house say so my kids around in the back
00:05:51%HESITATION no doors were open we couldn't get in West Valley city patrol officers Jerry Brady and Matt roads were the first to arrive in response to the nine one one call they showed up within minutes at ten oh two AM to find to reset Jennifer and her kids
00:06:08out front of the house they pounded on the door and shouted no response officers checked all the doors and windows all were locked they tended to peer into the garage through a window there only to find it blocked by a blanket in fact they noticed all of the
00:06:25windows were covered the blinds in the large bay window on the front of the house seemed to sway as if blown by hot air rising from the furnace spent more evidence of possible carbon monoxide poisoning meantime Jennifer was going door to door in the cul de sac trying
00:06:43to find someone who might have recently talked to Josh or Susan one neighbor gave Jennifer the name and phone number for cure see hello well I don't have her in my contacts on my phone I don't know who it was but I decided to answer it and she
00:06:55said if this is Jennifer graves Josh's sister when's the last time you talked to sue them and I was instantly just had this feeling of dread come over me and I was like what do you mean I just talked to yesterday we walked home from church together and
00:07:07she said well she's missing they're all missing is no tracks at their house none of us can find them they're not at work QC and Susan were both members of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints and belongs to the same ward or local congregation care
00:07:21C. told Jennifer about a Facebook post Susan had made on Sunday morning it mentioned how Josh had won a flip video camera from his work Christmas party on Saturday night and so we were afraid that since you love taking pictures maybe he had driven them up to the
00:07:33canyon and they've gone off a cliff or they'd slimmer stuck it out and it's been a reason all night the patrol officers were growing more concerned too they figure Josh Susan in the boys were either unconscious in the house or hadn't been home since the storm started during
00:07:49the night they called for back up the sergeant arrived and tried to use a device called a bump key to unlock the door but it didn't work short of options the police turns to Terry and ask for permission to break a window it took some convincing but she
00:08:05agreed it was eleven thirty nine AM and that's just calling about I could have you scheduled with the points today forty we were just concerned looking for Josh and make sure you got your %HESITATION we have received a phone call not well December stubborn all this is cool
00:09:18episode four fine Susan I'm Dave Kali all of those voices you just heard came from messages left on Susan cell phone the day she disappeared let's go back to December seventh and the house on Serra circle West Valley city police sergeant Terence chan riddled through that broken window
00:09:37and found himself in the front room of the powerhouse the first thing he noticed were to fans aimed at wet spots on the carpet and couch they were causing the blinds to flutter not hot air from the furnace toys were scattered around the floor a stereo had been
00:09:53left on it Blair to broadcast from a local radio station stepping over the mess chan came around a love seat to the front door he unlocked it allowing the rest of the officers to enter they started searching room by room the upstairs bedrooms were all anti so was
00:10:10the basement checking the garage the officers noticed the family's minivan was gone Teresa and Jennifer also came inside to see if anything looked a mess while I was at the house I'd had this overwhelming feeling that he had done something to her already because I'd seen her purse
00:10:28there I'd seen I've gone through it and her driver's license for Sam's club Carter temple argument they were all in the purrs why would she walk away without that you know that just seems like a a very abnormal thing for her to to do %HESITATION for any length
00:10:45of significant length of time Jennifer called Susan's dad Chuck **** I don't know how he felt about that you know I was trying to say to be calm but I'm not sure if my panic was a little bit of parents or not %HESITATION call from Jennifer Josh's sister
00:11:07want to know if I'd heard from her so I said well now she called you okay and she told me well we can't find a right now we don't know we haven't heard from the family for for Sunday Monday whatever they hadn't heard from I called my wife
00:11:24and ask her if she Susan called her no she had okay and the but I was sure that you know it's just somehow %HESITATION inland phone Dieter whatever was something simple but the tattoo take a child to the doctor and you will hear from later today Chris I
00:11:46never came officer Brady went back to his patrol car and radio dispatch asking them to look up a plate number for the missing mini van they verified it hadn't been involved in any crashes that morning dispatch also contacted local hospitals to see if Josh Susan Charlie or Britain
00:12:04had been admitted nothing Josh's mom told police she called both Josh and Susan's work places she gave them the phone numbers both aspen logistics and Wells Fargo investments confirm to Josh and Susan had been scheduled to work but both were absent no call no show Brady called both
00:12:25Josh and Susan's cell phones each went straight to voicemail it seemed less likely with each passing minute that the disappearance was an accident so what about half past one in the afternoon the officers decided to call in a detective I was Maxwell had always wanted to be a
00:12:53cop at least as far back as he could remember he'd grown up hearing stories about the job from his father's that he saw the uniform and heard tales of heroism even as a boy he wanted to be a part of it is the beginning of my career I
00:13:09was dead set working for West Valley city police department couple reasons I got a lot of interaction with them of living in West Valley good and bad room was juvenile got trouble couple times for and %HESITATION just %HESITATION %HESITATION I got arrested for possession of alcohol one time
00:13:29on Mike %HESITATION Jesse castenada was the was the officer he was my school copy and %HESITATION you know I learned a lot from him he was a great school resource officer and I learned a ton from him and he's probably a big contributor as to why I got
00:13:46into police work as well none of those offenses were serious enough to derail his ambitions in nineteen ninety five while Josh Powell was attending community college Ellison rolled in the police academy he paid his own way hoping to make himself marketable to the department if that ended up
00:14:03being his hometown of West Valley all the better but he knew the odds were against him because in the had to me they told us look you may or may not get a job like it's tough and it was like that I mean you'd go interview %HESITATION go
00:14:17test someone you'd have hundreds of applicants at times thousands I was graduated the academy cleared his certification exams and prepare to enter the world of law enforcement he sent out a lot of job applications the job market as the academy had warned was very tight LSR West Valley
00:14:35was hiring not the police department but instead the city's code enforcement division so I put in for that thinking and get a foot in the door right foot in the door dumping of job apply for the police department transfer over sounds pretty easy not the case code enforcement
00:14:55was not glamorous work Ellis had to chase down abandoned shopping carts and issue citations for junk yards but the job kept his certification active before long he took a second job as a reserve officer in the mountain resort town of Park City home to world famous ski resorts
00:15:13and the Sundance Film Festival working the equivalent of two full time jobs put a pretty big strain on Ellis and his young family we had our first child in December of ninety seven and so I think goes round the spring of ninety eight that %HESITATION they still wanted
00:15:30me to work these hours account so I quit his dream remained getting a gig as an actual officer in the West Valley city police department he applied again and again and again the persistence did lead to an interview which ended without Ellis getting the job he reached out
00:15:49to a friend in the department to told us he was just too soft spoken so the next time I interviewed I didn't get the job and %HESITATION so into McGinnis at him maternity wrong like how can I become better in a totally sane senior too soft spoken ISIS
00:16:07we told me last time he applied a third time and cleared the interview only to be washed out by an out of state contractors psych evaluation at that point I was done I was just three strikes and just I'm fed up fed up with the government where they
00:16:21operate at mean this is just ridiculous around that time Ellis learn Park City was hiring again he'd enjoyed his time as a reserve officer there in figured joining the active duty force would be a good step up from the drudgery of code enforcement he quit West Valley took
00:16:37the Park City job and prepared to move on from his dream of wearing the blues in his boyhood home town so I was there and what was valleys hiring again so I was like alright give us one more chance rate so put in a past interview but administration
00:16:57Park City knew I had an interview before I did word it appeared tended to get around among Utah's police brass one of Alice's supervisors at Park City advised him to tell the chief about his upcoming interview with West Valley Ellis thought that was a bad idea I'm not
00:17:15gonna go that you can be like Hey thanks for hire me but %HESITATION this way you know I'm looking at Westphalen I got an interview with them that's just ludicrous and so I did it and I guess %HESITATION the chief was very upset from that point forward %HESITATION
00:17:31my short stint at Park City full time it was %HESITATION not good the chief asked Ellis to resign he couldn't understand you done good work for Park City so she refused and he says he got his start up slammed his fist on the desk you're fired I was
00:17:48like wow there been fired for so I laughed and it was driving down the down the canyon of Harleys and you know my wife at the time was pregnant shoes do and like two or three months I don't have a job she was not work and I own
00:18:04a house and all you know got I was this is not and ironically it was for like a force hires me without that of an eye they give me my pay my seniority the whole experience left Ellis disillusioned he figured it was time to change course go back
00:18:23to school learn a new trade maybe he thought he'd go into construction then a friend a retired officer put a bug in his ear I said it was five hundred you should you should apply to so I think I'm done now he wasn't he talked me into it
00:18:40and I went into that interview I don't care like I I don't I didn't wear a tie were jeans or sh button down shirt I didn't shave and I just went and I didn't ask I didn't do anything polite like we're supposed to please have a seat now
00:18:53I sat down when I want to sit down answer the questions and then when they said you got any questions for us as of now I gotta walk out now this was not the same soft spoken young man who had three times applied in three times been rejected
00:19:06I came out and I was in city hall and I passed one of the sergeants and like you don't tell me just interview and I said yeah I don't care I mean to me a lot of you folks know who I am a work as if you want
00:19:18to hire me harm if not screw I left and I got the job at last elicited she'd his dream he was a West Valley city police officer he had a plan stainless valley and spend long enough on the job to qualify for his police pension so the whole
00:19:34goal was to get into twenty years retire experience as much as much of %HESITATION please for you I could because many assigned as many assignments as I could and %HESITATION five still sane alive and get out it was September of two thousand and one as the dust of
00:19:54the twin towers settled in New York City Ellis had the streets on patrol in West Valley a year and a half later he joined the investigations division and became a school resource officer Granger high in two thousand and six the department moved him on a child sex abuse
00:20:11cases so I wasn't really too thrilled but it was an opportunity to take on a new challenge and I did and I did that job for almost two years I left there in two thousand and eight Ellis faced a crossroads he'd spent enough time in the trenches by
00:20:28that point to qualify for promotion he didn't particularly want to become an administrator but figured he could make sergeant and ride that rank to retirement on the other hand a colleague told him the major crimes division was short handed is like Hey what's come over and join the
00:20:44team as like new absolutely not I know you guys do major crimes handled violent cases robberies shootings that kind of stuff they were also the homicide squad Elissa done enough work over the years supporting major crimes to know it was a stressful gig so I knew what they
00:21:03did I knew they were busy and I told him absolutely not one I don't like small dead people too I like my time off rate I'm like I have no desire and you can I kept talking to me about it talking to me about it and I kind
00:21:19of thought about and I thought you know maybe maybe it is a little too early to promote Ellis moved to major crimes in may of two thousand and he was still there on the morning of December seventh two thousand and nine when a family of four turned up
00:21:32missing the commute to work that morning was a doozy at dumped at least I don't know eight inches of snow started snowing probably about three o'clock in the morning and and snowed into the commuting hour and %HESITATION there's a lot of snow and and and a lot of
00:21:53people anybody watch news stuff like that knew the storm was coming in Ellis made it to the office in spite of the weather the morning was just like any other morning and one in the office I sat down I believe I was reviewing %HESITATION of robbery his bank
00:22:06robbery case he had been at it for long when he was interrupted the sergeant at time kind of a bowl Stree Philadelphian individual rate opens up the squeaky door walks in and you can you can ari smelling common right colonial war any comes up behind me and he's
00:22:24like %HESITATION you'll well as we do on to my job man right were counts robbery case well I need you to go out and help %HESITATION patrol on a missing family else picked up the phone and call the patrol officers who were out at the Serra circle house
00:22:41they gave him Josh and Susan's names the address and brief him on what it happened so far he spent about an hour just doing research I look and I can't find anything on these people read there's no criminal history there's a NASA report database I think it was
00:22:58like a traffic accident while back but nothing serious rape no signs of prior domestic violence no nine one one calls from the house no criminal history for either Josh or Susan nothing so L. is headed to the house so when I get out there %HESITATION you know it's
00:23:16frigid cold and there's no control officers everywhere and there's there's family and and friends and neighbors the patrol officer shared what little they knew the last anyone heard from the palace was about noon the day prior they hadn't said anything to anyone about taking a trip Ellis took
00:23:35a walk inside the house there was no sign of a struggle inside the residence so you know there wasn't like tipped over night stands and broken lamps or broken dishes or you know anything like that like any signs of a domestic violence like a physical domestic violence there
00:23:51is no sign of a robbery all of the doors and windows were secured with the exception of the one window the patrol officers had smashed there was two box fans that were set up in the front room one was at one end of the front room the other
00:24:05one is at another end and they were in operation one of the fans sat across the living room from the couch against the west wall that separated the living room from the kitchen the other was by the north wall near the entertainment center the two fans were ninety
00:24:22degrees off axis from one another but pointed at the same spot the foot of the couch some believes that he knows blowing on the carpet but the reality was it was blowing on maybe the carpet but also the couch it was very obvious that the couch had been
00:24:43cleaned where the love seat hadn't Ellis poked around a little more he noticed a flip video camera on a shelf still sealed in its packaging it was the prize Josh and one from his work party on Saturday night there went the theory that the family had gone out
00:24:58to test their new toy he moved down the hallway to the master bedroom there was a vacuum sitting in the middle of the floor there's a steam cleaner and more importantly Susan's purses sitting in there and undisturbed rate like her wallet sinner ID's in there her keys are
00:25:17in there in often we look through it you can tell there's no credit cards missing or anything like that no cash is missing should jewelry in the bathroom in the bedroom none of that appeared to be missing if somebody was going to rob the place they're not gonna
00:25:33pick out jewelry and then put it back nicely rate this was all very odd Ellis called dispatch and had them placed Josh Susan Charlie and Braden as well as their van on NC I see that's the FBI's national crime information center database system cops from across the nation
00:25:52used to share information about cases if officers anywhere in the country encountered the Powell family he'd hear about it immediately he made other calls I shoes in the system maps what size city police department if you could please give me a call back I'd appreciate it your call
00:26:10eight zero one I've called in seasons from Nicole Josh's phone they both go directly to voicemail they don't ring so that's a clear indication we all know the phones are off Josh's mom told Ellis she and Jennifer were Josh in Susan's only relatives in Utah she alluded to
00:26:28some friction in their marriage but glossed over the details your C. hello well offered a more damning account as one of Susan's closest friends she was privy to more of the couple's private she told elle US house Susan and struggle to make peace with her husband over his
00:26:45falling away from their religion she describes Josh is controlling in verbally abusive Ellis talked to Debbie today care providers who described how she'd kicked off the whole thing that morning he talked to Susan's one into Josh's dad both of whom are in Washington Judy **** hadn't heard from
00:27:05Susan since the prior Thursday Steve Powell said he last spoke to Josh the day before at about noon when Josh had called asking for a pancake recipe both confirmed the couple had not made any plans to visit family in Washington one of the neighbors approached Alice as he
00:27:22sat in his car talking to Josh's dad on the phone and she came to our door to my car and I kind of had to give her the one finger like hold on and finish the conversation Steve pal Roman window down and she shares with me that she
00:27:36just talked to Josh Powell and I thought to myself okay I I don't know who you are for starters right and I I you know to be honest with Adam how much credibility to give this gal rate like I mean you got family friends the police that have
00:27:55called left messages and you're the one that's just out Giovanna Owings did not want the spotlight only yeah I don't want to be famous for being the last person to see Susan Kalla life you know like it or not she was Giovanna son Alex a baby sat for
00:28:22Josh and Susan the night of Saturday December fifth when they went to Josh's work Christmas party the next afternoon on Sunday the six th Susan called Giovanna after church the blanket that she was working on for her for one of her boys the yarn was all messed up
00:28:38and she asked if I could come over and help her with one tangling it and I said sure and then in the background I could hear Josh saying more she can stay for lunch but did we just have enough for her Giovanna accepted the invitation she went over
00:28:57to the powerhouse about two forty five in the afternoon and sat with Susan in the living room Josh had Charlie braided in the kitchen where he was making pancakes when they were ready he brought Susan angebot of their individual servings and fall season on I eighty and we're
00:29:13talking he then cleaned up the kitchen put all of the dishes in the dishwasher Susan noticed her husband was doing the chores without being asked a rare occurrence he may very well have been putting on a really good show for me that he was a loving caring husband
00:29:31then I bought it at one point Josh even came and draped a blanket around Susan's shoulders I thought that was nice but you know I've I've seen has been set acted that way so I didn't realize that that was not a normal thing for Josh Susan told Giovanna
00:29:51she believed she had miscarried the month prior Giovanna didn't want to press and decided to ask her about it later when the boys were out of earshot then she said she was she was feeling tired she and so I thought well that's perfectly natural she's going all all
00:30:08week long and if she did know miscarried and should be a little tired %HESITATION anyway so she said she was going to go %HESITATION just lie down for a little bit in in the bedroom and I was like okay that's fine it was about four thirty divine I
00:30:24just kept working on the tangled yarn Josh told her he was going to take the boys sledding Giovanna was focused on the knot and didn't get the hint and then he says well I really need to lock the front door when I leave and then I thought it
00:30:38was like okay I should probably leave them so I cut the yarn and to the %HESITATION messed up your own home to untangle and I said well I should have this finished by this evening and I need to go there's no hurry just give it to her on
00:30:57Tuesday on her day off and I was like okay fine about five thirty Giovanna watched Josh pull out of the driveway in his mini van with both Charlie and Braden in their car seats then she went home John received a text message from her neighbor Keirsey hello well
00:31:12the following afternoon on Monday December seventh it said no one had seen or heard from Josh's in our the voice since noon on Sunday I knew that was wrong because I've been over there that afternoon and had left early evening Giovanna had Josh's cell phone number because her
00:31:29son Alex sometimes babies at the Powell boys so I've called Josh on my phone and he didn't answer and then my son called him on his phone and Josh answered and he my son immediately hung up and I said did you do that everybody's worried about where they
00:31:48are called me back cell phone logs would later show it was three oh two PM call them back and Josh answered in answer the phone me iceage harsh where are you is a breed nobody's seen Susan they said she can go to work you need to get home
00:32:08and so he said he was out south and he'd be home soon just like okay whatever and we hung up and I was not given a shared all of this with detective Ellis Maxwell letting him know Josh and the boys were back but there was no word about
00:32:29Susan Josh's mom and sister Jennifer had left Sir circle and gone home by that point it was just kind of a waiting thing you know we were just honestly a little bit in shock non not knowing what to do and we just sat around waiting Jennifer's phone rang
00:32:47just before five thirty PM the caller ID showed it was Josh she answered and shouted into the phone asking her brother where he'd been in if Susan was with him Josh said he was at work many of the boys they were fine Jennifer said she knew that wasn't
00:33:05true he wasn't at work okay all right Josh admitted he wasn't at work he had taken the boys camping but said they've been stranded by the snow storm Jennifer asked again where's Susan Josh said she was at work again Jennifer challenge the line she told Josh Susan had
00:33:25not gone to work voice climbed in she shouted where is she I don't know Josh shouted back then he asked what do you know that question caught Jennifer off guard she was afraid her brother had done something terrible is that cheering had just come over over me while
00:33:47I was at the house and when he called that night it was disturbing disturbing to talk to him and realized that that that premonition is actually valid Jennifer lowered her voice fighting to keep her composure okay I don't actually want him to run he has to innocent little
00:34:12babies with him and I you know I wanted them to make it back you know we wanted them and so I backed off I come down and I just kind of gave them a little bit of it the gist of the situation there's a cop at your house
00:34:28we broke the window there guarding the house basically I wanted to make it sound as benign as possible and so let's meet there you know and and %HESITATION and %HESITATION we'll see where to go from there Josh agreed to return home Jennifer grabs her coat went to the
00:34:46car and drove back to Sir circle along the way she called Ellis and told him what happened they met outside of the powerhouse expecting Josh to join minutes ticked by with no sign of the family's blue minivan Ellis dial Josh's phone number but he didn't answer were all
00:35:08sitting in that circle in our vehicles is a weight in and finally Ellis comes over and you know sake but she's given a call Jennifer did then handed her phone to Ellis it was five forty eight PM and he answers and I tell him identify myself my tone
00:35:29Josh you need to come home and I verified with you miss Susan which you know she's at work okay well you need to come home we've been at your home now for eight hours nine hours whatever you need to get here Josh replies I need to go feed
00:35:46my kids we need to go get a nanny ignores me and starts asking his kids kids what you want you want pizza you want hamburgers and at this point I'm really frustrated because he is he is just ages has %HESITATION I don't care attitude right and so I
00:36:03tell misses it I was more his force for my words in and I told you need to come to the house like can you come here now with your kids can hear the needy air Josh said okay I was asked how soon he'd arrive in Josh said yeah
00:36:21he wouldn't be long but Josh didn't show up until about six forty PM almost an hour later so Josh is just taking his sweet time I think as I don't even know what was going through his head but he you know he was getting the kids food and
00:36:39I you know but what how long does that take stop at McDonald's and grab a bite to eat so they're not starving and screaming and they're cops at your house does not feel urgent more than three hours had elapsed since Josh had first made contact answering the call
00:36:55from Jim on his son Ellis met the mini van is it rolled to a stop in the cul de sac he clearly can't get into his driveway was all the cop cars and everything and %HESITATION I approach the passenger side of the the vehicle and you know is
00:37:10is the rolls down the window and asking you know where the hell have you been right like I talk to an hour and a half ago Ellis caught a whiff of Greece and pepperoni but agreed the kid some food need stopped and little Caesar bottom pizza and %HESITATION
00:37:26I asked him why and returned anybody's phone calls why haven't been answering his phone he told me it was often as two mornings phones off the city's trying to preserve the battery X. and have a charger and all this time as I'm talking to him with canoes vehicle
00:37:40there's a charger this plugged in so there's a couple accuse you know that are there and but at the end of the day it's not enough to you can put handcuffs on him so okay run jail Ellis told Josh they needed to talk in the drive over to
00:37:56the police departments westside substation just a few blocks up the road he didn't want to give Josh anymore opportunities to delay at the substation Ellis said down an audio recorder and got right to the point you know we're Susan's out no no one's last any sooner how about
00:38:28midnight last night where a at home where was she done what were what was she wearing where which handles %HESITATION she was wearing it she is wearing something comfortable that is the actual recording of the interview as you can hear Josh was not very forthcoming then obviously everybody
00:39:03concerned everybody's worried everybody's worried about all four of you I mean I get all the details at ten o'clock this morning and I I don't even know that was happening apologize that %HESITATION like I say we got snowed in and there's just no cell service so it killed
00:39:23my phone it is tries harder dies you know %HESITATION actually turn it off so you can try to save the battery Ellis made note of the battery excuse again but didn't call attention to it instead he asked to Josh to describe everything that had happened over the last
00:39:47forty eight hours Jim said Susan going to church with the boys on Sunday then return home around noon he went to the grocery store to buy stuff for lunch Susan invited you're gonna come over while he made pancakes in on he said Susan and taking a nap after
00:40:06lunch Giovanna stick around until about five thirty here Josh in Japan and stories diverged Josh claimed he remained home job on the left contradicting her eye witness account the Josh left the house at the same time with the board he told Annalise he was home at about six
00:40:25thirty when Susan woke up in a hot dog dinner and then settle down for another nap with great at that point Josh said he took only Charlie sledding they came back at about eight at which point Josh read a book to Charlie and put into that then Susan
00:40:41gave her husband a chore to do at ten PM on a Sunday night you want me to clean the calories a day watch me like clean the couch %HESITATION they can't just of all the cars and stuff so like well like a wash cloth or something %HESITATION generator
00:41:12please read Dr including the couch okay the rug doctor the same one Ellis had seen in the master bedroom that afternoon Josh said he'd set up the fans in order to dry the couch after cleaning it to keep mildew from forming tell us wanted specifics about the camping
00:41:29trip Josh told him Susan she known about it and she was okay with it where did you drive to use the products press %HESITATION well I started heading south two little turn on to the Pony Express that's how far down towards presses you go maybe twenty miles I
00:42:00don't know twenty miles on the bike stressed maybe can you just stop and runs %HESITATION the rotors stay on the road when you went down there is that we just drove straight to from your house pretty much %HESITATION pretty much largest up in between well I mean you
00:42:25know that's the sorry hundred pretty much means you stop somewhere else so I I don't I just went straight there he drove straight to the point press Josh's answers were all but useless anytime I would ask him certain questions the answers I got was I don't know I
00:42:45don't remember in the silence or you try to deter conversation a different direction such as when we sat down in the west side precinct there and he would turn his attention to his kids to avoid questioning Charlie in Britain continually interrupted that was definitely a mistake on my
00:43:07end %HESITATION I should have left those kids with %HESITATION Jennifer or Theresa yeah her we're not gonna buy off of the machine made it tough we did get %HESITATION a domestic violence advocate over there to eventually sit down and kind of %HESITATION entertain the kids but Josh was
00:43:33not pleased with that in it diverted his attention even more but what else could they do Josh wasn't under arrest and didn't have to be there forcing the issue with the boys might have ended the interview the last thing I want is him to not talk to me
00:43:50so Ellis dealt with the situation as best he could so you got to your destination twenty miles possible twenty miles down the planks press what did you stay on the road club on the side of the road knowledge they have you can drive on the I mean I
00:44:09found one how far up the trilogy on I don't know mylar Josh told us he'd mixed up the days in his head that when he left on Sunday night he thought it was Saturday he realized the mistake only after waking on Monday morning by then it was too
00:44:40late to call as work and beg forgiveness upon realizing the mistake he drove around aimlessly for hours to exactly where he couldn't say only stopping to make a fire so the boys could roast marshmallows well we'd go further out on express %HESITATION the campground turn around %HESITATION when
00:45:14I got older go back when what no one one got old yeah I mean we've had our fill done well the boys were done so about what time was that I I don't know maybe you that's what I started coming back home yeah on the way home he
00:45:51stopped at a car wash in the city of Lee high that didn't make a whole lot of sense the roads were still covered in salt slush and grime from the snowstorm Ellis wanted to know which car wash Josh said he wasn't sure after washing the car Josh said
00:46:08he drove north to Susan's work they only have the one car so Josh typically took Susan to work in the morning and sometimes picked her up in the afternoon he couldn't explain how she might have made it to work that morning considering he had the mini van out
00:46:22in the desert Alice asked to Josh about his marriage I mean you know it's pretty good I mean sometimes have disagreements but disagree right so nothing it's not like really getting in fights or anything well not usually this happened a couple of times yeah but you know it's
00:47:00very very rare I'll come on that wasn't true Ellis held his cards close not revealing the stories he'd already heard from cure see Jennifer and other get along at once the account but he's really sick counselor for %HESITATION what a marriage counselor yeah you know working out working
00:47:27on issues what kind of issues for those %HESITATION well %HESITATION I mean frankly she has a temper sometimes I current so would you guys to marriage counseling then I wasn't going to church dollar so in the winter Ellis asked Josh to name his wife's closest friends his first
00:48:15answer was Debbie their daycare provider he offered a few other names including Linda from Susan's work he didn't know or didn't want to offer Linda Bagley's last name which makes it challenging right because you can't challenges answers because he's not giving you too many lies if any just
00:48:33I don't know if you remember let me tell you something I mean you cannot be helpful but not being whole because I mean I and I know exactly who might %HESITATION closest friends are you know I'm saying and I actually know who were close friends are in your
00:48:51home Ellis's reservoir of patience had run dry first for taking a report on a call I think you go to work you go to work I mean I think you're trying to go to work well I don't go to work work zero work at all so he like
00:49:16you would have gotten up ready it was super frustrating because as a detective you obviously want them to answer truthfully ideally we wanted to answer truthfully you wanted to confess those are the things you want there it doesn't happen they're gonna live and when they do provide those
00:49:37lies you tuck it away and you later bring it back up rate let him tell their story and then bring it back up and go okay what this answer doesn't fit and this is why and he won't allow that Ellis had never encountered someone quite like Josh in
00:49:53his career nothing he tried seem to shake him sell more if you don't know order so for this car did you catch that little hint of doubt in else's voice their remember that it will prove important in just a moment what do you what do you think I
00:50:13should where should I start looking once I start doing what you think I should do yeah get a line to the hospital never double that was about the closest Josh came to expressing emotion but he didn't ask for else's help finding Susan he didn't offer any ideas on
00:50:52where she might have gone either they were getting no where Ellis cut to the point Baker out the rest with you guys plus you know the midnight last night and I am yeah doctors at last straight answers but were they the true okay well and check on a
00:51:21check your band concert prevent my search your band search it I guess yes you know units and look through it so is reluctant is has a tune you know what he looking for why do you need to do this and I explained to him which is protocol man
00:51:47like your wife's missing women you know you've been gone and you don't know where she's at %HESITATION we need to look in your van Ellis handed Josh a consent form which he signed he does with the agreement that he will stand by and stop us at any time
00:52:06so you gotta do what you gotta do and %HESITATION so we signs and and we go out we start looking through his van Ellison his partner Gavin cook lifted the tail gate and opened all the doors Josh plopped down in the driver's seat a blue plastic tarp was
00:52:21spread across the floor in the back as if to keep the carpet clean on the left were tools including a wood handled shovel a rust flecked metal rake and a yellow bristled broom next to those sat a humidifier and a dusty plastic tote that have just ridiculous amounts
00:52:39of an open camping equipment that you would find in Kmart or Walmart rate in the tote were a poncho a mylar emergency blankets a table cloth tent stakes but no tent toilet paper Miskito coil and a multi tool among other knickknacks you can see pictures of all of
00:52:59this at the cold podcast dot com to the right of the toad was a blue plastic toboggan stacked inside were in orange heavy duty extension cord in electrical circular saw a razor box cutter and a folding hand saw by the sled and in front of the tote were
00:53:16a red five gallon plastic gas can and the Yamaha gas powered generator this guy has all kinds of stuff back there in the rear passenger seats the detectives found a comforter from a queen size bed another blankets as well as extra clothing for Charlie and Braden a storage
00:53:32compartment behind the driver seat held a box of blue nitrile gloves the front passenger seat was covered with water half empty box of Graham crackers sat in the foot well along with a scarf which Susan had likely crocheted a red onesie covered with Scooby doo characters was draped
00:53:47across the center console between the two front seats along with the camera bag but the most interesting thing that was discovered is in the consul so many open the consul in this mini van there's like a tray rate so you can put some changer small items will if
00:54:06you remove that tray the council goes much deeper and you can put bigger items in there and we find Motorola cell phone whose phone is this detective cook asked he held it up for both Josh and Alice to see and he looks and he is like a deer
00:54:23in headlights and he can't he's is he can't speak he says he doesn't say anything and then I say to a man like Josh why do you have shoes and so forth and he's like %HESITATION you start stumbling these like he says something to the effect of well
00:54:44I borrowed her phone I drive border phone yesterday because I needed some cell phone number and his cell phone numbers out of it and I I must approve my pocket forgotten it's just the most ridiculous answer ever white was it ridiculous hypothetically if if this is true for
00:55:06you would have known the habit and you put it in the consul so if you did leave it in your pocket at some point you pulled out of your pocket and you put it in you buried in the consul like you didn't just set it on top you
00:55:19didn't just leave it sitting in the car you don't put in the jockey box you buried it in this consul not only that but Josh had twice called Susan's number just that afternoon to leave her voice mails why would he do that if he knew he had her
00:55:34cell phone Josh said he had forgotten it was there I asked tell us why he didn't arrest Josh right that moment yeah why isn't that enough %HESITATION you know you can't you can't go into a court room and and stand on the bench until %HESITATION the defense attorneys
00:55:57that Hey we have nobody situation here whenever cell phone the husband was in possession on now cycle fly there's just there's no way you've got to be able to prove that he is responsible for either murdering her or kidnapping her or he's responsible for her disappearance and being
00:56:22in possession of a cell phone you know it's just not gonna fly he said it's different with two strangers having some random person cellphone after they disappear could well be enough evidence but Josh and Susan were husband and wife a defense attorney could spend any number of scenarios
00:56:40to explain away Josh having the cell phone also you got to take into consideration that they had one vehicle frustrating as it was Ellis handed Josh the keys to the van just gather the boys loaded them into their car seats and drove home it was followed him over
00:56:56to the house and had to do a walk through to make sure nothing was missing Josh said everything looked fine it was about nine thirty PM nearly twelve hours since Josh's mom had first called nine one one looking back Ellis regrets not writing a search warrant for the
00:57:13house and mini van that night myself you sergeant and my partners it was %HESITATION assisting at the time you know we discussed as like you know can we get a search warrant right now and the decision was no since having come back in the morning and %HESITATION do
00:57:33another interview and go from there it was a judgment call arguably the wrong one to this day Ellis says he's not sure serving a warrant that night would have changed anything but it was a learning experience as well because I'll tell you what from that day forward if
00:57:52I questioned if I needed a search warrant for a residence or a home I wrote it and I submitted it what the judge make that decision Ellis gave Josh's card told him to find a babysitter for the boys and meet him at police headquarters for a follow up
00:58:07interview in the morning Josh said okay and agreed to be there by nine AM I also learned his lesson about Josh using his sons as a distraction he repeated Josh should make immediate arrangements with Terry or Debbie the daycare provider to take the boys but Josh did neither
00:58:27Debbie it turned out had stopped by the house while Josh was at the substation I went back and there was a police car in the driveway does sitting there and I get guess what happened is that they were they ate once they broke the window they had to
00:58:40keep the property secure and so they hadn't said anything to me so I contacted Jennifer the next day she was the one that told me that Josh should come back with the boys less the older okay now then and she said well I'm not sure Susan wasn't with
00:58:57them and I'm like what do you mean sees and snap with Susan's friend curacy could not believe it either I found out sometime around nine or nine thirty Monday night because a neighbor of his called me and they said Josh is back I said hosting gonna so the
00:59:12okay and she said well he and the boys are there but Susan isn't and I immediately said what did you do as I first thought what has he done on the next episode of cold chill tone architectures that tell mama was you guys last night and it should
00:59:31come back if you haven't already please subscribe to cold tosses a rating or a review you can find cold on Facebook Instagram and Twitter at cold podcasts for video clips pictures from the case more hit up the cold podcast dot com also if Susan story sounds familiar in
00:59:55your own life in other words if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse in any form please get immediate help in the U. S. support is a phone call away at the national domestic violence hotline at one eight hundred seven nine nine seven two three three
01:00:14or online at W. W. W. dot the hotline dot org a quick thank you to my team Kristyn Sorensen Eric open shots can fall Daniel Prager Adam Mason jillion Friedman and especially Cheryl Worsley for all of their help with this project the music for cold was composed by
01:00:35Michael Bonn Miller except for the guitar stuff that was me cold is a KSL podcast thank you for listening do you ever feel like you just need some support to get really healthy hi I'm Scott Mitchell and I'm Melanie Douglas I'm on a journey to find lasting help
01:00:52to my everyday life and here to help will find fun doable ways to improve your health too small and simple changes it's the really healthy podcast subscribe for free on iTunes for the KSL news radio app

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