Read the transcript: Social worker's 911 call from Josh Powell's home
Social worker: 'This could be life-threatening'
The Associated Press
Police have released a series of recordings from 911 calls made Sunday when authorities in Washington state say Josh Powell locked himself and his two young sons in his house and lit it on fire. The following transcript comes from a social worker who had just arrived at the home with the boys for a court-ordered supervise visit. The transcript has been edited to remove personal information.
DISPATCHER: Good morning.
SOCIAL WORKER: Hey, I'm on a supervised visitation for a court ordered visit and something really weird is happened. The kids went into the house and the parent, the biological parent, his name is Josh Powell, will not let me in the door. What should I do?
911 OPERATOR: What's the address?
SOCIAL WORKER: It's 8119 and I think it's 89th — I don't know what the address is.
911 OPERATOR: OK, that's pretty important for me to know.
SOCIAL WORKER: I'm sorry, just a minute. Let me get in my car and see if I can find it. Nothing like this has ever happened before in these visitations, so, I'm really shocked and I can hear one of the kids crying but he still wouldn't let me in. OK, it is one, uh, one ... Oh, just a minute I have it here. You can't find me by GPS?
911 OPERATOR: No.
(Pause of approximately 10 seconds.)
SOCIAL WORKER: OK, it is — I still can't find it. But I think I need help right away. He's on a very short leash with DSHS (Department of Social and Health Services), and CPS (Child Protective Services) has been involved. And this is the craziest thing. He looked right at me and closed the door. Are you there?
911 OPERATOR: Yes, ma'am, I'm just waiting to know where you are.
SOCIAL WORKER: OK. It's 8119 189th St. Court East, Puyallup, 98375. And I'd like to pull out of the driveway because I smell gasoline and he won't let me in.
911 OPERATOR: You want to pull out of the driveway because you smell gasoline but he won't let you ...?
SOCIAL WORKER: He won't let me in.
911 OPERATOR: He won't let you out of the driveway?
SOCIAL WORKER: He won't let me in the house.
911 OPERATOR: Whose house is it?
SOCIAL WORKER: He's got the kids in the house and he won't let me in. It's a supervised visit.
911 OPERATOR: I understand. Whose house is it?
SOCIAL WORKER: Josh Powell.
911 OPERATOR: OK. You don't live there, right?
SOCIAL WORKER: No. No. I'm contracted to the state to provide supervised visitation.
911 OPERATOR: I see. OK. And who is there to exercise the visitation?
SOCIAL WORKER: I am, uh, and the visit is with Josh Powell. And he's the husband of ...
911 OPERATOR: And who's supervising?
SOCIAL WORKER: I supervise.
911 OPERATOR: So you supervise and you're doing the visit? You supervise yourself?
SOCIAL WORKER: I supervise myself. I'm the supervisor here.
911 OPERATOR: Wait a minute. If it's a supervised visit you can't supervise yourself if you're the visitor.
SOCIAL WORKER: I supervise myself. I'm the supervisor for a supervised visit.
911 OPERATOR: OK, but aren't you the one making the visit? Or is there another parent there that you're supervising?
SOCIAL WORKER: I'm the one that supervises. I pick up the kids at their grandparents'.
911 OPERATOR: Yes. And then who visits with the children?
SOCIAL WORKER: Josh Powell.
911 OPERATOR: OK. So, you're supposed to be there to supervise Josh Powell's visit with the children?
SOCIAL WORKER: Yes, that's correct. And he's the husband of missing Susan Powell. This is a high-profile case.
911 OPERATOR: How did he gain access to the children before you got there?
SOCIAL WORKER: I was one step in back of them.
911 OPERATOR: So they went into the house and he locked you out?
SOCIAL WORKER: Yes. He shut the door right in my face.
911 OPERATOR: Alright, now it's clear. Your last name? ....
(Exchange in which caller provides personal information.)
911 OPERATOR: And what agency are you with?
SOCIAL WORKER: Foster Care Resource Network. (Pause). And the kids have been in there by now approximately 10 minutes. And he knows this is a supervised visit.
911 OPERATOR: How many children?
SOCIAL WORKER: Two, Braden is five and Charlie is seven.
911 OPERATOR: And the dad's last name?
SOCIAL WORKER: Powell. P-O-W-E-L-L.
911 OPERATOR: Two L's? Two L's at the end of Powell?
SOCIAL WORKER: Yes.
911 OPERATOR: His first name?
SOCIAL WORKER: His first name is Josh.
911 OPERATOR: Black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Native?
SOCIAL WORKER: He's white.
911 OPERATOR: Date of birth?
SOCIAL WORKER: I don't know. He's about 39.
911 OPERATOR: How tall?
SOCIAL WORKER: 5' 10", 150 pounds.
911 OPERATOR: Hair color?
SOCIAL WORKER: Brown.
911 OPERATOR: Did you notice what he was wearing?
SOCIAL WORKER: No, I didn't notice what he was wearing.
911 OPERATOR: Is he alone?
SOCIAL WORKER: I don't know. I couldn't get into the house.
911 OPERATOR: Are you in a vehicle now or on foot?
SOCIAL WORKER: I'm in a vehicle. I'm in a Prius. A 2010 Prius. The door is locked. He hasn't opened the door. I rang the doorbell and everything. I begged him to let me in.
911 OPERATOR: ... Please listen to my questions. What color is the Toyota Prius?
SOCIAL WORKER: Gray. Dark gray.
911 OPERATOR: And the license number?
SOCIAL WORKER: I don't know I can look ...
(Social worker provides license number.)
911 OPERATOR: Alright, we'll have somebody look for you there.
SOCIAL WORKER: OK. How long will it be?
911 OPERATOR: I don't know, ma'am. They have to respond to emergency, life-threatening situations first. The first available deputy will respond.
SOCIAL WORKER: This could be life-threatening. He went to court on Wednesday, and he didn't bring his kids back and this is really _ I'm afraid for their lives.
911 OPERATOR: OK. Has he threatened the lives of the children previously?
SOCIAL WORKER: I have no idea.
911 OPERATOR: Alright. Well, we'll have the first available deputy contact you.
SOCIAL WORKER: Thank you.
911 OPERATOR: Bye.
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