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Josh Powell willing to meet with FBI — for a price

Published August 22, 2011 3:07 pm

Disappearance • Spouse of Susan Powell says feds must pay his attorney.
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Puyallup, Wash. • Josh Powell, who has not answered questions for law enforcement since the early days of his wife's disappearance, on Saturday said he is willing to meet with the FBI.

Powell, however, has conditions: His attorney must be present, and the FBI must pay the attorney.

"Yeah, if they pay my attorney's fees, and he advises me properly, why wouldn't I?" Josh Powell responded to a reporter's questions about an FBI meeting.

But Powell still refuses to meet with West Valley City police, who are leading the investigation. Powell contends detectives there have misled him and the public.

"If I have leads [about the disappearance], I will send them to the West Valley police," Powell said. "What I will not do is have a sit-down with them."

Powell's wife, Susan Cox Powell, vanished from the couple's West Valley City home in December 2009. Josh Powell met with West Valley City police twice the first month of the disappearance. The police department has named him as the only person of interest in the case.

The FBI also has participated in the investigation, and agents have interviewed Powell's father, Steve Powell, who has said that an agent said he did not believe Powell had anything to do with the disappearance and feels that Susan Powell is alive.

Powell met with reporters Saturday at the home he shares with his father, two siblings and the two children he had with his wife.

Josh and Steve Powell say they believe Susan Powell is alive and ran away with a boyfriend, possibly Steven Koecher. He is a Utah native who disappeared from Henderson, Nev., the same month as Susan Powell.

When asked Saturday how someone might find his wife, Powell answered: "Beauty supplies. Get serious about beauty supplies."

Susan Powell enjoyed cosmetology, liked to help people style their hair and bought lots of beauty supplies, Powell said. He suggested federal agents post his wife's picture in beauty supply stores across the country.

Powell said he has no fear of being arrested but worried the West Valley City Police Department's search for his wife in Ely, Nev., was an opportunity to fabricate evidence against him. He said he has never been to Ely.

"It occurred to me they were planting something in Ely so they could magically show it to the media," Powell said.

He has repeatedly said he took his two young sons camping in Utah's west desert the cold night his wife disappeared. On Saturday, he said the hot search outside rugged Ely proved the wisdom of such a decision.

"You don't go camping in the desert in the summer," Powell said. "You go in the cold."

ncarlisle@sltrib.comTwitter: @natecarlisle






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