Missing mom's parents seek custody of boys after arrest

Missing mom's parents seek custody of boys after arrest
Chuck Cox, left, father of Susan Powell, walks with attorney Steve Downing, right, as they leave a Pierce County courtroom, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, in Tacoma, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
TACOMA, Wash. - The parents of missing mom Susan Powell have filed for custody of her two young sons, just hours after their paternal grandfather was arrested and the boys were taken from the home of their father, Josh Powell.

The boys were removed from their father's home Thursday night as Josh's father, Steven Powell, was arrested and charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of child pornography.

Chuck and Judy Cox, the parents of Susan Powell, have asked the Department of Social and Health Services to grant them temporary custody of the two boys, aged 4 and 6.

The boy's father, Josh Powell, argued against granting of custody to his missing wife's parents.

A court commissioner said Friday that he will not decide on the custody of the sons until after the state's child welfare agency finishes its investigation, scheduling another hearing for Wednesday.

After Friday's hearing, Josh Powell ran from the courtroom without making any comment to reporters.

After the hearing, Chuck Cox said he feels the new allegations against Steven Powell are "disgusting," and that he's glad his two grandsons are out of his house in protective DSHS custody.

"We're very concerned for the welfare of our grandchildren. We're doing everything we can," said Chuck Cox, Susan Powell's father, after the custody hearing.

Denise Cox, Susan Powell's older sister, said she was worried that Steven Powell would easily post bail. She said she believes that both son and father were involved in the disappearance.

"I'm just hoping for the day that hopefully Josh will join him," she said. "It's been a long wait and it gets harder every day," she said, as she cried spoke in front of a throng of reporters and television news cameras.

At a court hearing last month, Chuck and Judy Cox were ordered to stay at least 500 feet away from Josh Powell, Steven Powell and the two young boys.

That order followed a roadside shouting match between Chuck Cox and Steven Powell on Aug. 20 as TV cameras rolled and reporters watched on.

Susan Powell, a native of Puyallup who later moved to Utah, was 28 when she was reported missing after she failed to show up for her stockbroker job in December 2009.

Her husband, Josh Powell, said he last saw his wife before he left with their two boys, ages 2 and 4, to go on a midnight camping trip in freezing temperatures on the Pony Express Trail, about 80 miles west of Salt Lake City.

Police have said that Josh is the only person of interest in the case, although he's never been arrested or charged. Josh moved back to Puyallup with his young sons after Susan disappeared.