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Husband of missing Utah woman attends Puyallup vigil

Josh Powell, a Utah man considered a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife Susan Powell, attended a vigil in her parents hometown of Puyallup Sunday night.
Josh Powell, a Utah man considered a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife Susan Powell, was among more than 60 people who attended a vigil for her Sunday night in her parents' hometown of Puyallup, Wash.

PUYALLUP,Wash.-- A rain-soaked prayer vigil in Washington for missing Utah woman Susan Powellincluded a surprise appearance byher husband, considered a person of interest in the case.

Josh Powell and the couple's 4-year old son Charlie were among an estimated 100 people who showed up Sunday night at the vigil in Puyallup hosted by the missing woman's parents and church.

We ve had no contact with Josh. We don t know what his plans are, said Chuck Cox, Susan's father. I didn t know he was going to come up here.

Powell and his son stood away from the main podium during the proceedings, and afterward remained silent for the most part, often surrounded by a wall of umbrellas erected by family friends.

We re all concerned for Susan, said friend Cori Kloepfel, but I don t blame Josh for not wanting to speak to the media.

Police call Josh a person of interest in the case,but he is not considered a suspect and is free to go as he pleases, said West Valley city police in Utah. Police said he was not forthcoming in interviews with detectives.

Neither Cox nor Powell approached each other during the vigil, although two other relatives didtalk toJosh in order to speak with the couple's son, family friends said.

Cox told KING-5 he would not attempt to speak with his son-in-law unless he contacts me. I might call to ask if we can see the children or something. [But] there s just too many things out there and ... hopefully now that he s back here around his parents, his dad, now that he has representation, maybe he ll be comfortable enough that he ll come forward with some verifiable story.

As part of the event, friends and relatives sang the Christmas carol Silent Night, which theysaidisSusan's favorite hymn. Aside from the candlelight vigil at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Ridgecrest building in Puyallup, other vigils were held at the same time in countries across the world, said family friend Shelby Gifford.

We have faith that our difficult questions will be answered in due time, Gifford said. We have faith that angels are watching over Susan wherever she is right now.

Josh Powell told authorities he last saw Susan at 12:30am on Dec. 7, when he took their two sons on a camping trip and left her at home.

My father s intuition says there s hope. I don t feel any dread or anything at the moment, said Cox, who acknowledged that at this point, any leads to Susan's location are few and far between.

Until we get some solid information about what happened that night, that morning, that day, he said, boy, where would we start?

Susan Powell, 28, moved from New Mexico to Puyallup when she was 10 years old and graduated from high school there in 2000, the newspaper reported.

She was reported missing since Dec. 7, when she failed to show up for her stockbroker job in West Valley City, Utah. Josh Powell told police he last saw her at 12:30 a.m. that day when he took their two boys, ages 2 and 4, on a camping trip and left her at home.

Police have called Josh Powell a person of interest and said he was not forthcoming in interviews with detectives.

Susan Powell's parents and siblings have said they were saddened that Josh Powell had been named a person of interest, but not surprised.

Salt Lake City resident Wayne Hamberg, one of Josh Powell's friends, has said Josh and Susan Powell had problems like any other couple, but he never saw any signs of domestic violence or other serious issues.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.