Powell’s father-in-law staying in prison longer

SEATTLE — The father-in-law of missing Utah mother Susan Powell will stay in prison a little bit longer after a property owner withdrew an offer to have Powell as a tenant, officials said Tuesday.

The Department of Corrections had approved a plan for Steve Powell to be released to a Tacoma home next month. He now has an opportunity to find a new place to live and submit an updated release plan. It would go into effect 35 days after officials approve the proposal.

If Powell can’t find a place to live, he would be released as homeless at the end of his sentence in March.

The Department of Corrections didn’t release details of the property owner, but said the offer to let Powell stay at the Tacoma home was withdrawn because the plans were made public and the property owner didn’t want attention.

Powell, 63, was sentenced in June 2012 on voyeurism charges for secretly recording images of young neighbor girls. That case against Powell developed as authorities were searching for Susan Powell.

Susan Powell disappeared from her home in December 2009. Her husband, Josh Powell, was a focus of the investigation until he killed himself and the couple’s two children last year in an explosive house fire.

Utah authorities have said they do not believe Steve Powell was directly involved with Susan Powell’s disappearance but may know more about it than he has let on. He had a sexual obsession with Susan Powell that was thoroughly documented in journals seized by police.

Investigators now believe Josh Powell’s brother, Michael, helped him dispose of Susan’s body. Michael committed suicide in February by jumping off a parking garage in Minneapolis.

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