SALT LAKE CITY -- Many people in Salt Lake City came to know and love Charlie and Braden Powell when they lived there as toddlers. Their murders have deepen the sense of loss that Salt Lake City has endured for over two years since the boys' mother disappeared.
Susan's best friend reacts to boys' deaths
Looking back, Kiirsi Hellewell wonders how she and Susan Powell became so close, they were so different.
I miss her terribly...terribly. The day she disappeared a huge hope ripped out of my life and it s never been filled, said Hellewell. I don't care about stylish clothes and makeup and she's totally opposite...Susan wanted the whole world to be pretty.
And it was pretty when Susan and her husband Josh and their son moved into the neighborhood. The families became fast friends, but when Susan got pregnant agan, Josh changed.
He had a really weird thing thing about germs...wouldn t touch her...go near her, said Hellewell. She kept a lot of it from her parents.
They appeared happy, but Hellewell says over the next four years Josh grew cold, angry and emotionally abusive. Susan s pretty world was growing dark.
I've always been consumed with guilt wondering if there was anyway I could have saved her, said Hellewell.
On December 7, 2009, Josh claims he took the kids camping and returned to find his wife gone. Hellewell adorned her home in Susan s favorite color and prayed.
I think she was sedated or drugged, but I think she was still alive when she left the house and I think Josh took her somewhere, said Hellewell.
Josh moved the boys to Puyallup, when he lost custody last fall, she rejoiced. Then Sunday, heartbreak delivered in a phone call.
And I started crying saying no, no..no, said Hellewell.
Josh had used a hatchet on his sons before blowing up the house. Everything Hellewell loved about her best friend was gone.
Everytime, I see their faces, I see Susan in them, sweet and innocent...they did not deserve that, said Hellewell.
Hellewell plans to attend the boys' funeral on Saturday and after that she plans on rededicating herself to finding her missing friend. She says she has no doubt Josh killed his wife and knows this won't be over until Susan is buried with her sons.
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