Hotel worker sees Josh & boys day Susan reported missing

Discussion in 'Susan Cox Powell' started by Jules71, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    I personally think the story sounds quite plausible. Now of course there is no way to verify because the security tapes don't exist anymore.
     


  2. hollyblue

    hollyblue It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen t

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    I'd like to hear what LE has to say about it? No response?
     
  3. GrainneDhu

    GrainneDhu Verified Expert

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    That's why I listed that possibility as last, the least probable of the three possibilities.

    In every case I've ever studied that has been solved, there is always at least one piece of information that seemed at the time like important evidence but turned out not to be. There is always at least one clue that is collected but overlooked at the time that turns out to be relevant. And there's always at least one weird coincidence.

    There would never be any difficult cases or unsolved cases if LE knew in advance what was what.

    ETA: The primary reason I am somewhat skeptical is because with the advent of DNA testing, it has become clear that eyewitness testimony is quite unreliable under many conditions, especially in identifying someone who is a stranger to the witness. The woman who reported is probably telling the truth as she knows it. That doesn't mean she may not have been mistaken in her identification.
     
  4. cluciano63

    cluciano63 Well-Known Member

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    Why didn't this story come out when LE was searching for Susan some months ago? Why now? It does seem rather suspicious to me...seems the person with the "tip" could have garnered media interest back when those searches were taking place and it really seemed as though Susan might be found.
     
  5. utmomof2

    utmomof2 Active Member

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    One thing that makes me suspicious of this tip is the timing. Susan Powell's disappearance was all over the local news and has continued to be covered periodically over the past 2+ years. Sandy is not far from West Valley City at all, and neither are remote areas of Utah - they are both suburbs located in western Salt Lake County and there was a lot of local coverage...kind of hard to miss actually. So why wait so long to make the tip? And even if it did take that long for the police to respond to the tip, why wait so long to bring it to the press?
     
  6. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

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    You know, I kind of agree and definitely see what you are saying. BUT-- If someone reports a tip and there is no follow-up, it could be that LE got their wires crossed, were pursuing something else and didn't get the surveillance tapes in a timely manner or even get around to interviewing the tipster. Possibly her own personal life and/or problems might have prevented her from staying on top of it and calling LE to remind them, etc. Especially if she was under the impression that they had followed up on it and didn't intend to interview her further. As for the belated surfacing of this tip, maybe in the wake of all that has happened, the person is saying, "Yeah, what about this incident at the hotel which I reported, what happened to my tip?"
     
  7. GrainneDhu

    GrainneDhu Verified Expert

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    This has come up in other high profile cases where LE opens a tip line. The tip line often receives so many tips that LE doesn't have the manpower to interview each tipster individually.

    As I recall from the Horman case, LE looks at each tip and categorises it according to how valuable it may be and whether there is any action that can actually be taken.

    A possible sighting of JP 16 miles from home at 6 am would not, in and of itself, be particularly useful. The most useful action would probably be to add a pin to the map of possible sightings (or a dot to the computer display) and see if it contributes as part of a pattern. Being so close to his home, he could have come in from any direction to mooch a free breakfast.

    No need to spend the time and money to interview the witness directly.

    An example of a tip where there is no useful action that can be taken is a tip from someone who has a psychic vision that the missing victim is in the water (as in the Horman case). Well, that may be correct but the area was covered with bodies of water. Without more specific information than that, there's really nothing LE can do with that information. Again, no need to spend time and money interviewing the tipster.

    Even though it would be satisfying to say that money is no object in the investigation of a crime, here in this world it is always a factor. There is always a limit to the amount of money that can be invested in any single investigation.

    ETA: I did once call in to a tip line (no, not a psychic vision, either); the operator on the tip line told me that LE might not contact me. And LE didn't, I just took it on faith that either my information was not important or they didn't need to talk to me directly.
     
  8. cluciano63

    cluciano63 Well-Known Member

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    Even knowing where JP may have been that morning might not help all that much...seems the desert areas of Utah are so vast...and now the only possible witnesses are gone. JMO
     
  9. lillygator

    lillygator Well-Known Member

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    ok, what would knowing that he was at this hotel at a particular time help us solidify? was this on the way to/from where he said he was camping?
     
  10. dovebar

    dovebar Former Member

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    It's obviously costly for businesses to upgrade. But I wonder why we haven't moved past "security tapes" that get taped over and over, and have some kind of technology like chips that can store something like 10 years of data in a small space. It seems like computer floppy technology and home video cassette technology have moved on. I've had it with hearing that crimes, especially crimes against women like this, can't be solved because "the tape no longer exists."

    Doesn't this seem like a priority that our technological companies should get on in connection with law enforcement? And if the technology already exists, isn't this an area where federal grants could both stimulate the economy, as to "green grants" that help people weatherize and install energy-efficient new technology, while improving law enforcement (IIRC, LE gets grants all the time to do other things, like training and upgrading weaponry).
     
  11. GrainneDhu

    GrainneDhu Verified Expert

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    Personally, although the information is interesting and may help to nail down the timeline a bit, I don't think it helps all that much due to the location.

    That particular motel was only 16 miles from their home in WVC. I think he could have taken the minivan in almost any direction in the desert, then drove towards familiar territory (close to home) to a place he knew served a free breakfast.

    It was obviously important to him not to be at home that Monday, I assume for purposes of his alibi.

    I have always thought that there must have been an element of unexpectedness to the timing of the crime because it's clear he was a planner, a guy who thought in details. If he'd really planned the whole thing out in advance, wouldn't he have chosen a Friday or Saturday night? And set it up so he wasn't taking the boys on a "camping trip" at 12:30 am?

    I think he was afraid that there would be one or more witnesses that could place him outside their home at 12:30 am, so he had to account for that in his story.

    To me, some elements suggest planning and some elements suggest randomness.

    The element of randomness makes me think he was making it up (either in whole or in part) as he went along. And that implies that wherever possible, he'd tend towards the familiar.
     
  12. CHERIE.T

    CHERIE.T Former Member

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    Le admitted they knew about the 400 or so child-parent images found on j's computer. LE held that info for 2 years.

    Maybe they knew about this hotel worker and kept that secret as part of their investigation too? IDK , this case is so sad and there seems to be much that wasn't told.

    imho
     
  13. Talison

    Talison New Member

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    Are you sure? My husband and I manage a hotel in Wyoming that is under the Choice Hotels umbrella, the same as the Comfort Inn in question. We don't require an ID for guests. We have to put a name, home address, and phone number into the computer to check them in, but it's fine if the guest wants to give us that information verbally. We don't verify any of the information. We also don't require a credit card. A lot of our guests pay with cash. Also, we don't collect license plate information at all. There isn't even a field for license plate info in the Choice Hotels check in system.

    I can also confirm that Choice Hotels doesn't use any kind of guest verification for the continental breakfast. We set up breakfast, and people come and eat it. That's it. No tickets, no IDs, no nothing.

    I don't know if Josh Powell was at the Comfort Inn in Sandy for breakfast the morning after Susan disappeared, but I do know that nothing about the policies of Choice Hotels would specifically prevent it from being possible. He could have just shown up for breakfast, or he easily could have stayed there under another name.
     
  14. cocomod

    cocomod Well-Known Member

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    My brother ran a motel for years here in Utah. Yes, a lot of motels ask for car license plate information, but they never check to see if it is accurate. You can put anything you want on that little line, and I highly doubt anyone would catch an error. I have never witnessed anyone walking out to check. The only time it might be checked is if a car is left for days at a time and not moved.

    His motel did not require ID, but some of his staff did ask for cash paying customers. Breakfast was just set out, and there was noone there to ask for a ticket or check to make certain you were a paying guest.

    My question about this lady is the same as others. Why didn't she take this information to the press before? If this story is true, she would have likely shared this information with a co-worker, a boss, a friend, or a family member. Hopefully LE is checking to see if any of these exist.

    I wish that LE had followed up; since this is the second time I have heard during the investigation that LE waited to late to get a surveillance tape of Josh. If this was a true tip, it might prove just one more error on WVPD. I do know that tip lines can be very hard to handle. The person taking the tip has to determine it's likelyhood and importance. There are a lot of variables about whether a tip is even heard by detetives if I am not mistaken.

    IMHO, the tape would have helped LE call Josh out on his lies. It would have been key in providing ammunition for LE to question Josh about his story. I think it would have and could have been something important. However, it was very late in coming (even if she turned in the tip 2 weeks after Susan went missing). I believe that by 2 weeks after her disappearance, Josh had lawyered up. He would not speak to authorities pretty early on in this case.
     
  15. StrayKat

    StrayKat Meowww

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    For Charlie to say those words... sounds very plausible to me. IMO
     
  16. Sulamith

    Sulamith Well-Known Member

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    I think it is strange that the waitress did not wait, what one minute maybe, to hear Charlie's answer to her question.
     
  17. maureen

    maureen Member

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    Hi! Re: the whole license plate thing - Ive gone on vacation many times in a rental car and when they ask for the plates, Ive said, I dont know, its a blue toyota and they were fine with that. Do that and give them cash for the room- no record of you!
     
  18. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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    Given that jp was so cheap, he may have taken the boys there for breakfast other mornings, as well. A canvas of other area hotels, soon after Susan went missing, may have shown that he was at several of them with the boys, for breakfast, at various times. IMHO

    The location of this place does bolster a theory several of us had that jp went south and then turned onto 6W into the desert. This hotel is accessible to both I-15 and Redwood Rd.
     

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