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Denise Cox had just seen her nephews at her parents’ Saturday and joked about leaving the house because Charlie commanded her to come back to see him on Sunday. She said it was funny that he didn’t ask her to come back, he told her to — which the family thought was cute.
On Thursday, Braden Powell spent time with Denise Cox at her Washington house and was affectionate, she said.
"He gave me a hug and a kiss and said, ‘I love you,’ before he left," she said last week. "It was the best feeling ever and almost brought tears to my eyes."
Josh Powell’s boys were initially removed from his custody Sept. 22, the same day Josh Powell’s father, Steve Powell, 61, with whom the three were living, was arrested and charged for voyeurism and possessing child pornography.
Steve Powell was notified at the jail of the fatal fire.
Troyer, with the sheriff’s office, said that Steve Powell was asked if he knew anything about it. He was not cooperative and "called us a few names," Troyer said, adding that Steve Powell was placed on suicide watch.
Salt Lake City attorney Scott C. Williams, who represented Josh Powell in Utah, said he didn’t have any comments "beyond the obvious."
"It’s a terrible, terrible circumstance," Williams said. "Tragic, heart-rending for anybody to learn."
And the fact that the children were involved "compounds the tragedy."
Williams would not say when he last spoke to Josh Powell. He added that he had the "same curiosity" about what West Valley City police might have uncovered in their investigation of his client.
"They never shared the results of their investigation," Williams said.
At the Friends and Family of Susan Powell website, people from around the country posted comments expressing shock and sympathy for the Cox family as the news broke.
"Those little boys are with their Mom in Heaven. I just don’t understand how a father can be so evil. My heartfelt sympathy to Susan’s parents, her family and friends. May they find peace in their hearts in time when they reflect upon the happy memories they shared when Susan was here. RIP and fly with the angels," wrote Lorraine Troy of Albany, New York.
"My heart breaks for the grandparents," said a post from Chris Hoffman-Fagundes of Tacoma, Wash., who also wondered why the visit did not occur at a public place and expressed concern for the social worker who brought the boys to the home. "My heart breaks, tears streaming."
West Valley City police sent a news release later Sunday reminding the public that a $10,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Susan Powell still stands.
"We’re looking, and we’re still working it. It’s not closed for us, and it’s still active," Chief Nielsen said.
But when asked if he thinks Susan Powell could be alive, Nielsen told The Tribune: "There’s nothing to indicate that she’s alive. There’s not a good chance that she’s alive."
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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