Josh Powell, the husband of a missing Utah woman, and their two young sons were killed Sunday in an explosion at their Washington state home.
Susan Powell mysteriously disappeared on Dec. 7, 2009 from her home in West Valley City, Utah. Susan has not been found, and her husband has remained a person of interest in her disappearance. At the time of her disappearance, her husband Josh was supposedly on a midnight camping trip in freezing weather with their two sons. In January 2010 Josh moved himself and his two sons to Washington state.
In September 2011, Powell temporarily lost custody of his sons because of the investigation into his wife's disappearance. Powell and his sons were also staying with his father, Steve, who was arrested on child pornography and voyeurism charges. A judge ordered that the youths temporarily stay with their mother's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox. Powell had visitation rights.
Powell was recently ordered to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation after he sought to regain custody of his children. Jeffrey Bassett, his attorney, said he had been upset about the evaluation being ordered. At 12:05 Bassett received an e-mail from Powell saying I'm sorry, goodbye. Bassett didn't receive this e-mail until after hearing of the explosion.
Moments before the explosion Powell's two sons were dropped off by Child Protective Services for a supervised visit. The Graham, Wash., Fire and Rescue Chief Gary Franz, told the Associated Press that Powell blocked the social worker from entering the house behind his sons. As the home exploded the social worker was on the phone with her supervisor, reporting that she smelled gas.
Chuck and Judy Cox's lawyer, Steve Downing, said that they have feared that Powell would do something like this, and that they are devastated.
Police are still investigating Susan Powell's disappearance. There is no word yet on how Josh Powell's death will affect the investigations.
Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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