Chuck Cox, the father of missing Utah mom Susan Powell, tells People.com his family had long feared son-in-law Josh Powell may harm himself and his two sons, Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5. Although the Cox family relayed their concerns to authorities, Powell still had access to Charlie and Braden through visits supervised by a social worker. During one such visit on Sunday, Powell killed himself and his sons in a planned explosion at his Washington state home.
"They (the authorities) were all aware of our fears – that he would take a cowardly way out," Cox tells People.
"We stated our fear many times, that if he was feeling desperate, that he would possibly kill himself and the boys, that this kind of thing could happen,” he says. "If he felt there was no way out, that he wouldn't let anyone else have them. They were possessions to him."
Powell lost custody of Charlie and Braden last September after police discovered child pornography in the home he shared with his father Steve. Steve Powell was arrested and charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possessing child pornography. Chuck and wife Judith gained custody of the boys.
Authorities believe a failed bid last week to regain custody of his Charlie and Braden is what led Powell to murder-suicide. He waited outside his home Sunday for a social worker to bring Charlie and Braden for their visit. At the door, Powell shoved the social worker back, pulled his sons inside the house, and locked the door. Several minutes later an explosion occurred and engulfed the house in flames. Authorities found three bodies inside. A medical examiner is still working to confirm the remains are those of Powell and his sons.
Before the explosion, Powell sent a brief e-mail to his attorney, Jeffrey Basset. It read: “I’m sorry, goodbye.”
Susan Powell disappeared on December 6, 2009 from West Valley City, Utah. Powell claimed he and his sons were on an overnight camping trip when Susan went missing. He was a suspect in the case.
Click here for more People News