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Archive for January, 2010

I was just about to go live in an interview with 2 news at 10pm tonight when I glanced once more at the computer and saw the glad news: Friends and Family of Susan Powell group is back on Facebook!!

What terrific news, indeed.  But even with this, our joy is tempered with caution…is the troll just playing with us?  We hope not.  We hope not, but unfortunately, we can’t trust Facebook now.  They still have not communicated with us in any way.

We will be working hard on building a dedicated website for Susan that doesn’t rely on social networks; but in the meantime, head on over to Facebook if you wish and rejoice with us.  Our extended family of almost 45,000 people is very happy tonight.

**Edited to add: Facebook FINALLY contacted us last night and said the group was not taken down by a hacker…it was “technical issues.” I agree: technical issues because the “troll” made several fake profiles and then reported the group over and over and over on all of the profiles, kicking Facebook into automated gear and yanking the page for review. We are very glad Facebook woke up and fixed it.

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PRESS RELEASE
Saturday, January 30, 2010
2:00 PST
Contact: Shelby Gifford, Cox Family Spokeswoman
253.255.1624
Shelby@theshelbynetwork.com

SUBJECT: Friends & Family of Susan Powell Facebook Page Mysteriously Disappears

The Cox Family and administrators of the Friends & Family of Susan Powell Facebook page are asking for the social networking site’s help in restoring a page dedicated to the disappearance of missing Utah mom, Susan Powell, who was last seen December 6, 2009 in West Valley City, Utah.

The page contained information about Susan and her disappearance, and was a place where members of Facebook could come for up-to-date information about the case. “An entire database of people willing to help with searches and provide other services was deleted from Facebook as of approximately 2 PM Friday, January 29, 2010” said Shelby Gifford, family spokesperson for the Cox family and an administrator on the popular Facebook page. “Additionally, our page had over 45,000 members, all of whom can no longer see the page and who are not able to get or distribute information about Susan’s disappearance.”

The Facebook page has also been plagued by a “troll” who continues to visit the page under assumed identities, even pretending to be Susan Powell herself at one point. The Cox family and the Friends & Family of Susan Powell page administrators have made repeated complaints to Facebook and have not received a response. Susan’s father, Charles Cox, even applied online for a job with Facebook to try to get the company’s attention, but received no response. Other Facebook sites that strive to provide information about Susan have experienced similar problems.

“Obviously, our reason for using Facebook is that it can reach such a large audience quickly. This was proven in our successful Find Susan Media Blitz conducted earlier this month, during which the site grew to over 43,000 members in just a matter of days,” said James Hofheins, Social Media Coordinator for the Friends & Family of Susan Powell group. “We would like to talk with a representative from Facebook so we can remedy this problem once and for all. Their lack of response is causing great frustration among Susan’s friends, family and supporters.”

Various law enforcement agencies have been contacted with regard to threats made to the individual administrators of the Friends & Family of Susan Powell Facebook site. “We will continue to pursue those avenues as needed,” said Gifford.

NOTE: The Cox family had previously planned (but not announced) a press conference for Monday, February 1, 2010 in Puyallup, WA. THIS HAS BEEN POSTPONED. When the conference is rescheduled, members of the media will be notified via an emailed press release. To add your contact information to the Cox Family media database, please send an email to Shelby@theshelbynetwork.com.

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Many people in this world spend their time doing good, uplifting, wholesome things.  A few others choose to spend theirs destroying and tearing down.

Our Facebook group, Friends and Family of Susan Powell, disappeared this afternoon.  An internet troll/fake profile/hacker has claimed responsibility, saying that he has friends “inside” Facebook that shut the group down at his request and will shut down any further groups we ever try to start.

We won’t stand for this and are doing all we can to get Facebook to figure out what’s going on and fix their security issues.  44,000 + people who love and support Susan and her family now feel like they are homeless.  This group was their lifeline, their source of news, their way to show united strength and to focus on the effort to find Susan. 

Obviously, someone doesn’t want us to find Susan.  But it doesn’t matter what one person tries to do—NOTHING is going to stop us from doing everything in our power and fighting till the end to find Susan and return her to her family, her friends, and most of all, to her little boys who need her. 

Please take the time to visit this new blog dedicated to the upcoming Week of Service in Susan’s honor: http://heartsknitforsusan.wordpress.com/  Also, follow @findsusan if you’re on Twitter for constant updates on the Facebook situation and other efforts in the search for Susan.  And keep an eye on the Find Susan blog, as well. 

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There have been many, many beautiful, kind, and selfless acts of service performed in Susan’s name since she disappeared.  People have served meals to the homeless…brought Christmas to those who couldn’t afford it…and some have even decided to do some extra kind of service every single day in honor of Susan. 

When Chuck and Judy Cox asked everyone before Christmas to “perform an act of service in Susan’s name” by January 1, many people heeded this call and made others’ lives more beautiful…more hopeful…more full of faith.  Many of these people we don’t even know about because they chose to selflessly serve without recognition.  Many others shared just a little about their service with us, and all of our lives were made richer as we read of these kindnesses in Susan’s name.

My own act was surely the smallest of the small, and I have fought with myself over whether or not to post about it here.  Normally, I talk about anything I want on my blog, big and small things going on in my life—myself, my kids, my family, things I like and enjoy, my hopes and joys as well as my sorrows and hardships.  That is, after all, what a personal blog is for…for the blogger to share about his/her life and interests and thoughts with family, friends, and interested strangers. 

I don’t in any way want this to come across as bragging, though, so I have hesitated to share.  But many people have asked, and others have no doubt wondered…so I decided to share…but in the form of a short story ending in pictures.

Once there was a girl who loved many things…reading, writing, playing the piano and Irish whistle, gardening, forests, family.  She had a close, wonderful family who helped her learn and grow and develop her mind and talents.  They taught her respect for God, nature, and other people as she grew, and supported her in her journey through life.  One thing she always struggled with, though, was her feelings about her looks. 

The one thing she liked about her physical appearance was her hair.  It was an amazing color—in the sun it looked like dark golden honey, so beautiful and shiny and healthy.  When she was an adult she finally succeeded in a life-long wish: to grow her hair down past her waist.  She would only admit it to herself, but she loved her hair…so much.

This girl had a friend who she became very close to.  They did everything together…laugh, talk for hours, watch movies, play with their kids, take walks, go on bike rides, play with hair.  Her friend gave her many haircuts (trims really) and her friend always, always tried to convince her to cut her hair off and donate it to Locks of Love

“It’s such a wonderful cause,” her friend said, “And you have SO much hair.  It’ll grow back.  And I want to see how your hair looks, shorter.”  (After all, her friend was a professional hairdresser, and loved to give people makeovers.)

The girl knew she was being selfish, refusing to donate her hair.  But she just couldn’t.  She loved it too much.  She always answered her friend by saying yes, it IS a wonderful charity.  But I just can’t do it.

One day her friend disappeared, seemingly without a trace.  The girl’s life—and the lives of her family and friends—was turned upside down.  Nothing was the same.  Grief and heartbreak were now her constant companions, along with worry and fear, fighting with hope and faith.  The days were very long and the nights even longer.  Sleep wouldn’t come.  She missed her friend so much that she could hardly bear it.

When her friend’s family put out a “call to service” in their daughter’s name, the girl knew she was already spending hundreds of hours a week in every way she could think of to find her friend.  She wanted to do a specific act of service, but didn’t know how to fit in the time to do it.

Then, on January 1, she thought of something she could do.  Something very, very small, and meaning nothing to anyone but herself, her family, and her friend…but something that her friend would understand and be happy about if she knew. 

It was very hard.  She cried all the way there and all the way back and for many hours that night.  It wasn’t just the act itself—it was all the feelings wrapped up in it, and the reason she was doing it. 

hair1

hair2

20 inches later…

hairpo

hair3

I love you, Susan.  WE WILL FIND YOU.

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