Josh Powell, the husband of the missing Susan Cox-Powell, and the couples two young children died in a house fire apparently set by Joshua himself.
Susan Powell of West Valley City, Utah had first gone missing on December 6th 2009, when she was last seen. The entire family had been reported missing but Josh Powell had returned home around 5pm on December 7th with the children saying he had left around 12:30 am to take the kids, at the time who were 4 and 2, on a camping trip and left his wife at home.
Susan was never seen or heard from since. The investigators confirmed the story of the camping trip in interviews with the 4 year-old son. However, Josh remained the prime and only suspect in Susan’s disappearance, though never formally charged.
Josh moved to Washington with his sons to live with his father after his wife’s disappearance and then became embroiled in a custody battle with Susan’s parents over the two children.
Then on Sunday Josh and the two children where killed when the house the were occupying exploded. Police are treating the case as a double homicide/ suicide as it appears the event was deliberate.
The sheriff’s office obtained an email that Josh had sent to his attorney, family, and friends, just prior to the fire in which he said, “I’m sorry. Goodbye.”
Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer, said of the e-mail by Josh, “he couldn’t live with what was going on.”
Just days prior to the house fire, a judge had shot down a petition by Powell to regain custody of his boys, and was ordered to have psychological evaluations after evidence of child pornography turned up in his home.
A social work had came to the home to collect the boy’s from Powell when he quickly shoved them into a room and locked the door. The social worked reported she smelt gas and tried to get into the house, she said about 2 minutes later when she was calling her supervisor the home exploded into flames.