West Valley City Police Chief Says He Couldn’t Have Stopped Josh Powell

(KCPW News) West Valley City Police Chief “Buzz” Nielsen still believes he made the right decision by not arresting Josh Powell after his wife Susan’s 2009 disappearance. Nielsen says there was probable cause to make the arrest, but he feared there wouldn’t be enough evidence to win the case, especially considering his wife’s body has not been recovered.

“We need to have the best case we possibly can.” He says. “A lot of these cases, the more serious ones take a long period of time. What Josh did was evil and terrible and nobody could have predicted that. Would we have liked him jail and solved the case and have him cooperate from day one? Sure but he didn’t.”

Documents that were unsealed in the state of Washington last week revealed police had more evidence than previously thought.

And Susan Powell’s sister Denise Cox told ABC News police could have prevented the deaths of her two nephews, whom Josh Powell killed. But Nielsen disagrees.

“I think Josh had it planned out.” He says. “He was a bright guy. [He was] supervised. He slammed the door right in her face. He had it all planned out. And I think he had made that choice. If he had been in jail was out on bail it could have happened. If it would have been a lesser charge he could have been out. There could have been a whole lot of possibilities that could have happened there.”

A prosecutor in Pierce County, Washington has said he would have charged Powell with murder given the same evidence.