Ten years since tragic deaths of Charlie and Braden Powell

Feb 7, 2022, 5:35 PM | Updated: Feb 8, 2022, 9:35 am
FILE: A photo of Susan Powell surrounded by her sons....
FILE: A photo of Susan Powell surrounded by her sons.

Saturday marked the ten year anniversary of the tragic deaths of Charlie and Braden Powell, the sons of Susan and Josh Powell of West Valley, Utah.

Charlie and Braden were killed along with their father, Josh Powell in an intentional house fire set by Josh on Feb. 5, 2012. They were brought to Powell’s house at 8119 189th Street Court East, for one of their supervised three-hour visits. The first supervised visit since a judge had ruled their maternal grandparents, Chuck Judy Cox would have temporary custody of them.

Upon arrival, Josh let in the boys and shut the social worker out. The social worker made a call to her supervisor and 9-1-1 to tell them she feared for the boys’ safety and thought she could smell gasoline, when the house went up in flames.

An autopsy later showed the boys had “chop” wounds to their necks from a hatchet before they were killed in the fire.

The tragedy of their deaths followed the disappearance of their mother, Susan Powell on Dec. 6, 2009. While Josh Powell has long been named a person of interest in her disappearance, her body has never been found.

Dave Cawley, KSL podcaster of “The COLD Podcast,” shared these quotes Susan Cox Powell wrote just prior to her disappearance in 2009 to mark the anniversary of her sons’ deaths.

“I want my marriage to work out. I’ve told my husband he is depressed or has issues and we as a family of four are not happy and not showing how a husband/wife should interact. That we are messing up our children. He doesn’t want to do counseling and says if I were to buy groceries for cheap sale prices (these prices don’t exist now with the cost of gas going up, etcetera) that he would be happy with this well-purchased bargain deal food in his stomach and would make him happy and our marital problems would be solved. He also said he’s mean to me ‘because of the Republicans’ direct quote, then he mentioned something about how terrible our economy is (because of Republicans) and if that were fixed, he wouldn’t have these problems.”

“If I die, it may not be an accident, even if it looks like one. Take care of my boys. I want my parents Judy and Chuck Cox very involved and in charge of their lives. If they aren’t there my sister… can hopefully be responsible. I love my boys, I live for them and I choose not to cheat or do drugs because I wouldn’t want to risk losing them.”

“I love you Charlie and Braden and I’m sorry you’ve seen how wrong/messed up our marriage is. I would never leave you!”

The Susan Cox Powell Foundation was established by Susan’s parents in 2010 and serves families and children. Their website states, “We have partnered with the Tears Foundation, who have established “the Charlie and Braden Project”.  They now accept donations and provide assistance in Washington State to parents of families losing a child between the ages of 1-12, by helping to pay some of the cost of burial.  A burden faced by parents already trying to deal with such a powerful loss.”

You can learn more and donate to the Susan Cox Powell Foundation here.

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Ten years since tragic deaths of Charlie and Braden Powell