Courts & Crime

Missing woman's family release balloons on 29th birthday

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Tears welled in Judy Cox’s eyes as she watched dozens of purple balloons float skyward Saturday, her missing daughter’s 29th birthday.

“You’re kind of a member of a group that you don’t want to belong to. My family doesn’t feel complete with her being gone,” said Cox, wearing a T-shirt imprinted with a picture of her daughter, Susan Cox Powell.

About 40 family members and friends participated in the balloon release to honor Susan Cox Powell, who has been missing since Dec. 7, and to remind “people to keep their eyes open,” as Shelby Gifford, the family’s spokeswoman, put it.

Cox was reported missing in West Valley City, a suburb of Salt Lake City, where she lived with her husband and their two boys. Her husband, Joshua Powell, told police he last saw his wife about 12:30 a.m. as he left with the couple’s young sons for a winter camping trip in sub-freezing temperatures.

Susan Cox Powell graduated from Rogers High School in Puyallup in 2000 and married her husband, whom she met at a church, nine months later. The couple moved to Utah, and Joshua Powell returned with his children to live with his father in Puyallup after his wife’s disappearance.

West Valley City police have said Powell is the only person of interest in the case. There have been no arrests.

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