Josh Powell allegedly set fire to his home on Sunday after a social worker dropped off his two sons for a supervised visit. Powell and his two sons Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5, were found dead following an explosion in their Washington home.
According to reports, when a social worker showed up at Powell’s home, Powell grabbed his sons, shoved the social worker out the door and locked it behind her. Almost immediately, an explosion shook the neighborhood and the house was engulfed in flames. It is believed that accelerants were used in this alleged double-murder suicide.
Last week, Josh Powell was denied custody of his sons and was also ordered to undergo a psychosexual evaluation. According to CBS News, the two boys had also started to become more vocal about the events surrounding their mother’s disappearance. An attorney for the Cox family said of the boy’s comprehension on that night, “They had gone camping. Their mother had been in the trunk and later, their mom and dad walked out into the desert and mommy got lost.”
According to PEOPLE, Josh Powell’s brother-in-law believes the boys recent openness with family and authorities may have been the motivation for Sunday’s events.
Powell had been a person of interest in the case of his missing wife, Susan Cox Powell, who disappeared from their Utah home in December 2009. He claims that on the night of his wife’s disappearance, he had taken the boys on a camping trip in a remote part of Utah where temperatures would have been freezing. Powell initially lost custody of his two sons because he was living with his parents when child pornography was found on his fathers’ computer last year and the boys have since been in the care of their maternal grandparents.