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Police: Powell carefully planned murder-suicide

GRAHAM, Wash. (ABC 4 News) - Police say Josh Powell carefully planned to kill himself and his two young sons prior to Sunday's home explosion in Graham, Washington.
GRAHAM, Wash. (ABC 4 News) - Police say Josh Powell carefully planned to kill himself and his two young sons prior to Sunday's home explosion in Graham, Washington.

Peirce County Detective Ed Troyer spoke during a news conference on Monday outside the burned rubble of a home that was rented by Josh Powell prior to the fiery explosion.

Troyer said that investigators found evidence that Powell purchased and placed ten gallons of gasoline inside the home before his sons Charlie and Braden arrived for a supervised visit on Sunday. A social worker had just arrived at the home Sunday afternoon when the boys ran inside and Josh locked himself and the boys inside. The social worker smelled gas just before an explosion and flames engulfed the home.

Troyer said that no signs of gunshots were found in the home, although autopsies were underway to discover the exact cause of death.

Troyer said there were other signs of Powell's planning, including evidence that Josh has boxed up the boy's toys in boxes and already donated them to charity.

According to Troyer, Josh sent e-mail messages to family members, friends and his pastor, saying "goodbye" and also leaving instructions as to how to get access to his money after his death and how to shut off utilities at the home.

Troyer was careful to point out that Josh Powell left no clues concerning the disappearance of his wife Susan Cox Powell who was last seen in at the couple's home in West Valley City in December of 2009.

Josh is the only person of interest in the West Valley City Police Department's investigation into Susan's disappearance.


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