Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

I haven’t updated this blog very much lately because I’ve been busy with the other blog for Susan’s case, plus all the regular efforts to find her.  Also, I’ve found myself in a sad and strange situation. 

When Susan disappeared nearly 4 months ago, mine and my family’s life got put on hold.  Every thought, word, effort, and breath was all about Susan.  I spent all my time doing everything I could to keep her in the news, help the police in any way possible, and do all I could to find my friend.

My family suffered, of course, both my husband and kids and my extended family.  I kept them fed and clothed but everything else was a bare minimum. 

On Tuesday it will be exactly 4 months since Susan disappeared.  Nothing has changed for me—I still think of her with every thought and am still doing all I can to find her.  But I’ve had to return to “normal” life in some ways, for the sake of my children, who need me, and my husband and other family members. 

I’ve hesitated to post anything on my blog since Susan disappeared that wasn’t about her.  But the whole reason I started a blog was so our relatives and friends who live farther away and can’t be with our family as often as they’d like to could be a little more in touch with our lives.  So I guess now the blog will need to also struggle to find a balance between Susan-postings and bits from our lives, much as I am now struggling to do myself every day. 

It’s very hard to cook a nice dinner for my family and fold laundry when my mind and heart are so grief-stricken that my friend is still gone.  As much as I love my kids, it’s hard to give them undivided attention for hours when all I can think about is Susan.

But the last thing she would want is for my family or anyone else to suffer on her behalf, so we do what we can to continue our efforts to find her and still take care of our responsibilities and priorities. 

I update the Service for Susan blog regularly on the latest news and activities surrounding Susan’s case and disappearance, so check there often if you’re not on the Friends and Family of Susan Powell Facebook group

I hope everyone has enjoyed a sweet and peaceful Easter, surrounded by loved ones, and remembering the Savior…He who makes it possible for all of us to live again.

Art by the ultra-talented Simon Dewey; picture from Bev’s Country Cottage, a great charity website full of knitting and crochet patterns and other cool stuff.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I’ve talked before about how much it helps to feel the support and prayers of people all over the world, praying for Susan, her family, and everyone involved in the effort to find her. 

One unexpected blessing that’s come out of this horrible situation is the massive amounts of friends Susan still continues to gain, even while she’s been missing from our lives.  People everywhere feel like they know her and love her and feel so much a part of her disappearance. 

I personally have made many new friends…total strangers who’ve been searching since the day Susan disappeared…Susan’s co-workers…her family…media representatives…and many people on the internet from all over the world.  These people have followed Susan’s story since the beginning and they just can’t possibly know how much their support, faith, prayers, and encouraging comments help us keep going. 

I want to thank everyone who has said even one prayer for Susan and her family.  Everyone who has physically searched for some clue to Susan’s disappearance.  All those who have spent countless hours online, trying desperately to put the pieces of this puzzle together to help with finding Susan.  The media, especially the local media who have covered Susan’s story again and again.  And of course, the police, who are working tirelessly to find Susan and bring her home. 

Early Monday morning, I finished the last of 3 books I’ve been reading about Elizabeth Smart.  The first book I read was a good overall summary of the whole story, while the Tom Smart and Lee Benson book offered an excellent and detailed look into the inner workings of the case.  I saved the one written by her parents for last, and it was a wonderful book—so full of faith and hope and gratitude.  My own faith and hope was bolstered by Ed and Lois Smart’s example and courage…and of course, Elizabeth’s, to make it through such a terrible ordeal. 

I don’t know where Susan is but one thing I do know: there is a God in heaven who is personally invested in each of our lives.  He knows where Susan is, and he is watching over her and over all of us.  I know his heart breaks for his precious children when things like this happen.  I know he will help us find her.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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. 

Read Full Post »

The friends and family of Susan Powell are working feverishly to plan a social media blitz.  Details:

When: Monday, January 4, 8am—Thursday, January 7, 8am

Where: Everywhere! Facebook, Twitter, blogs, e-mail, YouTube, blip.TV, podcasts, anywhere and everywhere on the internet.

Why: To FIND SUSAN. To get her name, picture, and story into every household in North America and spread it across the world.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Please send an e-mail to findsusanpowell@gmail.com.  You will receive an e-mail this weekend of instructions of what to do on Monday morning.  Basically, we’re asking people to do three things:

* If you have a blog, put up a short article about Susan (which we will send you) that will include links to Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, along with a brand-new slideshow video and Susan’s “missing” flier.

* E-mail at least 5 of your friends with this information and ask them to help.

* If you’re on Twitter, tweet a link to your blog or other avenue for spreading Susan’s story.

We are also starting a ribbon campaign in conjunction with the blitz, which will also begin on Monday morning and continue indefinitely.  A press release about this will be issued this weekend, but basically we’re asking people to wear a purple ribbon, tie it around their trees, to their car antenna, and display it anywhere you can as a symbol of Susan.  Purple is one of her favorite colors.

One final word: I know there are many who think this “blitz” is a total, complete waste of time.  Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, and that’s fine.  But would you at least consider helping us with this anyway?  It won’t take more than a few minutes of your time to e-mail 5 friends and put a short article up on your blog, if you have one.  What can it hurt?  And I believe it will help in a huge way.

I am personally grateful and I know Susan’s family is, too, for anyone who chooses to help us.  If Susan were here, she would be overwhelmed at all the love and support pouring in for her from across the world.  THANK YOU and please feel free to share links or quotes from this blog entry anywhere you need to for the purposes of this social media blitz.  We need everyone’s help.

Read Full Post »

I’ve been trying to decide for a couple of days whether I should post on this topic or not.  More than likely it’ll bring even more “haters” down on my head.  But this is my blog and I have just as much freedom of speech as anyone else, so I decided to do it.

First, I want to give a little background to both myself and the Facebook group I started.  I’ve told the Facebook group beginning to numerous media sources but the general public hasn’t yet heard it. 

About me: I’m 34 years old, originally from northern Wisconsin, a beautiful land covered in deep green forests and thousands of lakes and rivers. 

county j9

County J, a beautiful road near Eagle River, Wisconsin

I’m the oldest of 7 kids.  I was homeschooled (except for one semester of high school when I attended full-time so I could take driver’s training) until college, which I attended in Utah.  I graduated from LDS Business College (LDSBC) with an Associate of Science degree, transferred to BYU, and graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts in English. 

I met my husband John at LDSBC in 1995.  We are both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS church) and both of us served as volunteer missionaries from 1996-1998.  We got married in May of 1998 a few months after coming home from our missions.  We now have three children, which I homeschool.  My husband works as a computer programmer.  I fill my spare time with writing, reading, knitting/crochet, music, and time with family and friends. 

applied i-cord edging

Detail from one of my knitting projects

John and I moved into our current home in West Valley in 2003.  Since we had both recently finished college and had 3 small kids, we were excited to make new friends and meet people.  But most young people in our area were still in school and working and too busy to have time for friends.  In the spring of 2004, Josh and Susan Powell bought a house in our neighborhood and came to church.  Their first Sunday at church we introduced ourselves and told them we’d love to have them over sometime to get to know them.  They said “Sure, that sounds great!”

We thought that was the end of that, assuming they were as busy as everyone else and wouldn’t have time.  But we were proved wrong the next Sunday when they asked, “Is today good for getting together?”

Since that time, we’ve been very, very close friends.  The Powells came over to our house at least once a week, many times more often.  We went on picnics together, babysat each other’s kids, went to parades and movies and other activities.  We stayed home and played games, watched movies, went on walks and bike rides. 

100_0101

Thanksgiving a few years ago with Josh, Susan, and my family

When Susan went missing three weeks ago, I was besieged with phone calls all day from members of my local congregation (called a “ward,” for those unfamiliar with LDS terms).  They knew I was in close contact with both Josh and Susan’s family and they wanted to stay in touch constantly.  I tried sending out mass update messages to my ward friends on Facebook but it just got too overwhelming to try to update everyone that way.

When Kayla Reed (ward member and friend) suggested that I start a Facebook group so we could all stay in touch easier, I thought it was a terrific idea.  I’d never started one before and didn’t know anything about it but the process was easy enough and took less than 5 minutes.  I started it at 6pm on Tuesday, December 8.  The purpose of this group was to give the ward members a chance to easily interact/comfort/share news with each other about Susan’s disappearance. 

I had no idea it would expand so quickly.  No idea that Susan’s family and Josh’s family would visit the page to update us all on the search for Susan AND to receive much-needed comfort and support.  No idea that it would become “Search Central” with a wealth of information on donations to Susan’s family, lists of people with specialized volunteer help, people willing to do a physical search, and many other topics.  No idea that thousands upon thousands of people from all over the world would join to get news, updates, and express their prayers and support for Susan’s family.  No idea that this little group would become such an invaluable tool for finding Susan.  Within days we were over several thousand members and now, less than three weeks later, the group membership is over 10,000.  The purpose of the group has changed a little, and I’ve had to “hire” additional administrators (these other admins are volunteers and doing hundreds of hours of behind-the-scenes work on YouTube channels, social media, and other things to help find Susan…and all of this in addition to their regular full-time jobs, families, and normal busy lives). 

Like anything in life, with growth comes problems.  We’ve asked—as have Susan’s and Josh’s families—over and over that no one posts anything negative, hurtful, speculative, or accusatory on this Facebook group.  99% of the group members have honored this request.  But some have not, and they’ve had their posts deleted and if they’re repeat offenders, we’ve had to ban them from posting to the group.  Also, I have found myself, to my surprise and disgust, bearing the brunt of many online attacks from anything from my physical appearance to accusations of “wanting fame” and “trying to get rich” from Susan’s story. 

These accusations are very hurtful.  They cause tons of additional pain to myself and those of us who are already hurting so much that it seems impossible we can feel any more pain.  People want to know, Why are you still friends with Josh?  Why aren’t you physically searching all day long?  Why don’t you ask Josh, if he’s still your friend, all the questions people want to know?

When I tell people the answers to these questions, they either 1) don’t believe me or 2) dismiss my answer as something they don’t want to hear and would rather belittle, criticize, and make fun of. 

Here, once and for all is the short answer to those questions: You don’t know all the details here.  There are many, many details of Susan’s background/relationship with Josh/etc. that have NOT been made public.  And you WILL NOT hear them from me, either.  My whole goal, focus and priority here is to find Susan.  This includes not telling the world things the police want kept inside the investigation

There are things the general public has never even thought of, about this investigation.  And it’s going to stay that way.  I’m not going to explain my reasons for remaining Josh’s friend or what I have or haven’t asked him.  What I will do (and have done) is tell the police any and all information I have that will help them find Susan. 

And as for physically searching?  Yes, I’ve seen the comments out there.  Some people think they can use the internet to spew poison and vitriol on anything and anyone they want to because they’re “safely anonymous.”  So they can say anything they want about anyone, no matter if it’s slander or libel or defaming someone’s character and reputation.  Not to mention, cruel, hurtful, and tearing someone’s soul to shreds.

Here’s the lowdown on the physical search: Chuck Cox, Susan’s father, has said that if anyone wants to do their own search, you must contact the West Valley PD.  Get their permission and register a record of where in the wilderness you want to search and then report back to them after you’re done.

As for me?  People are always asking me what I believe happened to Susan.  I’ve imagined many horrible scenarios but the one I believe most likely (for reasons I won’t share, but I will say they’re good reasons) is that Susan has been taken against her will and is most likely not in the state of Utah.  This is why I personally am not out searching the desert or mountains with my three little kids.  I won’t waste my time or resources fruitlessly looking for someone who may not even be in the state.  Instead, what I believe to be the greatest help here is the vast power of the internet. 

I’ve seen how fast something can spread across the internet.  It’s a very powerful tool.  I know the “haters” will keep laughing at me for doing this, saying I’m wasting my time and it won’t do a bit of good because they believe Josh has done the unthinkable and that Susan’s body is dumped somewhere close by.  So, according to them, I’m dumb and naive (and worse) for believing anything else. 

Well, guess what…as I said above, I have my reasons for believing what I believe and I’m not going to share them with anyone but the police.  So here’s a suggestion to all the “armchair detectives” and “amateur gumshoes” and all the rest who want to spend their day criticizing, defaming, and hurting others with their cruel words: why don’t you start using your energy to HELP find Susan instead of HURT? 

But I suppose I’m wasting my breath.  If you really cared, you’d be either joining our effort to post fliers in every state and city or spread the word online or else coming up with your own effort.  You see, unlike you, I believe and hope that Susan is still alive.  And even if she isn’t, I also believe that someone, somewhere, knows or has seen something that will help us find her.  So yes, I believe I am not wasting my time by doing everything I can do—especially online—to spread her name and picture to the far corners of the globe. 

I want my friend back.  More than anything else in the world.  If you want to find her, please help in a constructive way…not by tearing down and hurting others.

One last thing.  As to accusations of wanting fame and money from this?  Wow.  That is the most hurtful of all.  I would not take one penny from ANYONE in the media or anywhere else in this effort to find Susan.  And I know very well that I’m no model—I do not like being on camera and I hate the sound of my recorded voice.  Please believe me when I say that appearing on local and national TV are the last things I want to be doing with my time.  I would not do any of the media interviews if I didn’t believe it helps get her name and story out to the world.  And I can promise you that I have never, EVER contacted a single media outlet, asking them to come interview me.  They all call me…e-mail me…show up at my house unannounced. 

But I know you probably won’t believe that, either.  So go ahead with your time-wasting hatred that doesn’t do anyone one bit of good (especially yourselves).  As for me and my friends and the thousands of people that truly care about Susan, we’re going to spend all of our time and energy on helping any way we can to find our Susan and get her back to her family.

Read Full Post »