More disturbing details have emerged in the case of Josh Powell, the man who was the only person of interest in the disappearance of his wife, Susan Powell, who went missing in 2009 on a night he claims he took their two sons camping in sub-zero temperatures.
Last year, Powell lost custody of the couple’s sons, Charlie, 7, and Branden, 5, after pictures of neighborhood children undressing were discovered on his father’s computer. The court placed the boys in the care of their maternal grandparents and Powell was in a legal battle to regain custody of them when tragedy struck.
Earlier in the month, in an apparent murder-suicide committed by Powell, he and his two children were killed in an explosion that destroyed the family’s home. Only, as The Salt Lake Tribune reports, it wasn’t their home that was destroyed.
Powell was actually living with his father in Puyallap, Wa. and only used the house in nearby Graham during his supervised visits with his sons. Powell rented the home and staged it in order to impress CPS officials. “There was hardly anything there,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s Det. Ed Troyer of the rental house. “Just some pictures on the wall. The neighbors had not seen him in three months.”
Police also revealed that the children were believed to be unconscious during the blaze that killed them. Powell allegedly used a hatchet to knock the boys out and then poured gasoline on the walls of the home before igniting the blaze that resulted in the explosion. Officials do not believe the boys suffered.
After custody of the children was not returned to Powell at a Feb 1. hearing, he allegedly put a plan into place to murder them. Powell withdrew $6,500 and gave it to his sister with instructions to pay bills and his lawyer and also told her how to turn off the utilities at the rental home.
As this tragic story continues to unfold, we are beginning to understand how disturbed Josh Powell truly was.