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Remains of Josh Powell's home are razed, carted away

April 12, 2012|By Michael Muskal
  • Demolition workers remove what was left of the fire-damaged home near Graham, Wash., where Josh Powell killed himself and his two sons in February.
Demolition workers remove what was left of the fire-damaged home near Graham,… (Ted S. Warren / Associated…)

The Washington state home where Josh Powell killed himself and his two young sons -- first striking the boys with a hatchet before setting the house on fire and causing it to explode -- has been demolished and the debris removed.

The home in the Graham, Wash., area was torn down Wednesday as neighbors looked on, according to the Bellingham Herald. 

Many of them were likely relieved. The owner of the house, Patrick Small, who had rented it to Powell, told the Herald: “It’s a hell of a sight. ... Every time the neighbors walk out the door, they get reminded just by looking. It’s a horrible sight to look at.”

Contractor Greg Pelland of Pelland Enterprises told the Associated Press that he was ordered to remove every trace of the home, including the driveway.

Powell's wife, Susan Cox Powell, remains missing. She went missing in December 2009 from the couple's home in West Valley, Utah.

Powell was a person of interest in her disappearance but was never charged. Recently released search warrants in the case showed just how much evidence was accumulating against him and just how many lies he told to nearly everyone around him in the hours after his wife's disappearance.

Among the revelations: Susan Powell had left a will and a note in a safety deposit box -- with instructions that the contents not be shown to her husband. In that note, she wrote that if she died, "it may not be an accident."

Josh Powell later returned to Washington to live with his father. He lost custody of his sons after his father, Steven Powell, was arrested on suspicion of voyeurism and child pornography. He had been attempting to regain custody, but shortly before the explosion learned that was unlikely.

On Feb. 5, Pierce County sheriff’s deputies found Powell and his sons, Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5, dead inside the home. A social worker had taken the boys there for what was supposed to be a supervised visit. But the door was slammed in her face before she could enter the house behind the boys; the boys were then struck with a hatchet just before their father blew up the house.

The house was destroyed -- police discovered two five-gallon gasoline cans inside the house --  but the burned-out shell remained.

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michael.muskal@latimes.com

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