SEATTLE – In the hours after police say Josh Powell killed himself and his two sons in a house explosion in Graham, Wash., there were new revelations that Powell's children were opening up about their mother’s disappearance.
Susan Powell, 28, was reported missing Dec. 7, 2009, after she failed to show up for her stockbroker job in Utah.
Authorities in the couple's hometown of West Valley City, about 10 miles outside Salt Lake City, quickly turned their attention to Josh. He's been the only "person of interest" in the case, but had repeatedly denied any involvement in her disappearance.
Josh told police he went camping with his two children in the hours before his wife's disappearance -- his steadfast alibi.
On Sunday, the lawyer for Susan Powell's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, told the AP the children had started talking to their grandparents about things they remembered from the night their mother vanished.
"They were beginning to verbalize more," said attorney Steve Downing, whose clients had custody of the children. "The oldest boy talked about that they went camping and that Mommy was in the trunk. Mom and Dad got out of the car and Mom disappeared."
West Valley City police chief Buzz Nielsen said the department was convinced Josh murdered Susan. He said there were promising new leads that surfaced recently and that they were concerned about the welfare of the children.
“We had meetings on what strategies we could do to ensure the kids don't go back in that house,” said Nielsen. “This is probably the worst, a father and his two sons. First the wife, the mother of those two boys, then him and his two sons. You know, it's one thing to have him get charged, not charged, and deal with it. But it's evil what he did to his two sons."
Authorities in Utah said they hoped to file criminal charges against Josh by the end of the year.
Susan’s brother-in-law, Kirk Graves, believes the explosion is Josh’s admission of guilt and that he just couldn’t handle it anymore.
“I’m convinced Josh was going to do something like this. I think there are a lot of people looking back and wondering if they could have stopped this. The only person to blame is Josh,” said Graves. “After knowing him for as long as I’ve known him, I get the sense that he really only cared about himself. That’s why he was able to do things he did to Susan and do the things he did yesterday."
Graves said the boys had been traumatized by everything they went through the past few years, but were starting to act more like themselves recently.
“We saw over the last six months or so was a transition with Charlie and Braden, where they were becoming more fun, more vocal. They were acting like little boys again, which we hadn't seen for a while,” said Graves.