Possible bill to prevent another Josh Powell incident

I have already written extensively about the very sad disappearance of Susan Powell and the even more infamous aftermath. Well, I just found out that Utah’s legislature has approved a bill in part because of Josh Powell’s murder/suicide of his two children, which would allow children to be taken into protective custody if their parent is a suspect in a murder:

Nothing in the bill changes the presumption of innocence, said sponsor Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross.

Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, said a child should never have to live in a home where a parent, guilty or not, is the primary suspect in a homicide because of the emotional stress it would cause.

I’m not sure this will go anywhere — it has to be voted on, and if passed into law it may be challenged in court. Nor am I sure the bill is a good idea, because sometimes it turns out a suspect was totally innocent, and this fact isn’t discovered for years, during which time an innocent person might be separated from their children to the detriment of both. Richard Ricci, who was long the prime suspect in the Elizabeth Smart case, is an example that comes to mind. Richard Jewell, the guy whom for awhile everyone was blaming for the bombing at the 1996 Olympics, is another.

The bill, if it had been in place in Washington State (and the article mentions they tried and failed to enact a version of it there) would not, in any case, have saved Charlie and Braden Powell. Those boys were ALREADY in protective custody when Josh murdered them, staying with their grandparents. In fact, it appears he killed them for precisely that reason — a sort of “if I can’t have them no one can.” It’s like how, in abusive relationships, women are most likely to be killed if they leave or try to leave the abuser than if they stay.

I think in a situation like that — where there is a suspect in a homicide but not enough evidence for charges, and that suspect happens to have minor children — it’s a no-win situation.

Just realized

Truman Thurman White, a woman beater, child abuser and all-around dirt bag, who almost certainly murdered his one-month-old son Shawn, is, I believe, due to be released from prison this year. Or perhaps he’s out already, I don’t know. I tried to find some information about him on the web but didn’t find anything that isn’t already in Shawn’s casefile. I bet Shawn’s mom is on Facebook or something, but there must be hundreds of people named Tonya Graham, and even if I found the right one it’s against my personal rules to cold-contact her.

Shawn and Jay-Quan Mosley, another chubby-cheeked infant who was killed by his father, touch my heart. Shawn looks so innocent in his photo. And Jay-Quan, so joyful.

MP of the week: Asante Willoughby

This week’s featured missing person is a slender, handsome-looking black kid with delicate features named Asante Anton Willoughby, who disappeared from Chicago, Illinois on June 21, 1996, at the age of sixteen. The NCMEC doesn’t list him as a runaway; he’s classified as endangered missing. They have nothing else to say about him and I can find nothing about him anywhere else. Missing black teenage boys were not and are not considered good copy by the media; there may be nothing to find.

His case makes me think of Brian Kelvin Andrewin, another black boy the same age and size who disappeared from Chicago a year earlier. He is also classified as endangered missing with the NCMEC, though they used to list him as a runaway. Not saying they’re connected; I don’t have enough info to tell. In fact, I don’t have enough info to even speculate as to what happened to either of these young men.

If he’s still alive, Asante would now be 34. He’s been missing now for nearly as long as he had lived prior to his disappearance. What happened to him? I would love it if anyone who knew Asante (or Brian for that matter) could post in the comments section with their thoughts. Even if they know nothing about his disappearance, they could give a sense of the sort of person he was before he vanished.