Washington lawmakers eye new rules for custody cases over Josh Powell case
Published: March 8, 2013 11:12AM
Updated: March 8, 2013 11:19AM
In this undated photo, Susan Powell plays with her sons, Charlie and Braden died Feb. 5, 2012, when their father, Josh Powell, hit them with a hatchet and set fire to his home in Graham, Wash. Josh Powell, 36, died, too. File photo.

Olympia, Wash. • Washington lawmakers are looking to implement new rules to protect children in custody disputes.

The state Senate unanimously approved a bill Thursday in response to the case of missing Utah mother Susan Powell. Josh Powell was the subject of an investigation into his wife’s disappearance last year and locked in a custody battle with her parents when he killed himself and the couple’s two young children.

The proposed law would require state officials to consult with law enforcement about visitation matters when a parent is an identified suspect in a criminal investigation that could impact the safety of the child. Powell was not a declared suspect in his wife’s disappearance but was named a person of interest.

The bill now goes to the state House.