WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Tuesday marked one year since Charlie and Braden Powell were murdered by their father. Vigils in two states remembered the boys.
At West View Park in West Valley City, about fifty people gathered holding candles and singing to remember the kids. They were also honored at a vigil in Graham, Washington, close to where they were killed a year ago.
“Today’s like any other day. We’ve been missing our grandchildren for a year. It’s just the marking of one year. It doesn’t change anything. They’re still gone,” said grandfather Chuck Cox.
Susan Powell’s brother-in-law Kirk Graves added, “For me it’s a chance to reconnect with people that over the last three years we’ve been through some horrible stuff together.”
During a supervised visit February 5, 2012, Josh Powell grabbed his two sons from a social worker, took a hatchet to them and blew up the house in Graham, Washington. All three died.
”I just go back to that moment a year ago when I had the biggest most horrible news of my life and it was just what happened but how it happened. I don’t think I’ll ever get the image out of my head of what I imagine those boys were through,” said Graves.
The boys deaths came after years of uncertainly — not knowing what happened to their mother Susan who vanished in December 2009. On Tuesday night, a slide show at West View Park remembered her and the love she had for her boys.
”I miss them but I know where they are and I’m at peace with that,” said sister-in-law Jennifer Graves.
Lawmakers in Washington state are proposing a new law, named after Charlie and Braden. It would restrict contact between children and parents if a parent is a suspect or person of interest in a murder investigation.
”It’s a no-brainer. That should have been done a long time ago,” said Isabel Vasquez, one of Susan Powell’s acquaintances.
”If it does protect a couple more boys and avoids the same thing from happening in the future then I’m all for it,” said Kirk Graves.
West Valley Police did not release any new information about the Susan Powell case Tuesday but police say it remains an open, active investigation.