Husband of Missing Woman Kills Himself and His Two Children

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Josh Powell, a man who was a "person of interest" in the disappearance of his wife two years ago, killed himself and their two children after blowing up his house on Sunday, possibly because he was about to be charged with her death. Susan Powell disappeared from her home in Utah in December of 2009 and though she was never found and no charges were ever filed, her husband Josh Powell was always considered a suspect. Powell lost custody of his children last fall after moving to Graham, Washington, to live with his father, who was later arrested on suspicion of child pornography.

The boys had been living with their grandparents, but Powell was allowed visitation rights. After a social work dropped the children off for a visit on Sunday, Powell blocked the worker from entering the house and locked himself and the kids inside. The social worker called her 911 reporting that she smelled gas, and moments later the house exploded, killing Powell and both boys in the ensuing fire. Powell also sent an email to his lawyer moments before the explosion saying, "I'm sorry, goodbye."

According to The Los Angeles Times, the two young boys (who were 7 and 5) had finally become old enough to articulate what happened on the night their mother died and may have been able to implicate their father in her disappearance and authorities say that officials in Utah may have been preparing criminal charges for Powell. Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor called Sunday's murder-suicide "an act of evil."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.