(SEATTLE) — As the Cox and Powell families prepared to lay Charlie and Braden Powell to rest Saturday morning, police were closing in on new clues they hope will help them find out what happened to the slain boys’ missing mother.
Charlie and Braden were killed last Sunday when their father Josh Powell attacked them with an axe during a supervised visit before igniting an explosion in his home. Josh Powell also died in the blast.
On Friday, authorities discovered a blood-stained comforter in Josh Powell’s storage unit, however it remains unknown whether the blood is from his missing wife, Susan, who disappeared on Dec. 7, 2009.
Authorities say Josh Powell visited the unit one day before he killed himself and his two sons, Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5.
Police also released surveillance footage of Powell withdrawing $7,000 dollars from a local bank.
And in a new twist, police are now closing in on Josh Powell’s father, Steven, calling him a “person of interest” in Susan Powell’s disappearance.
Steven Powell is in jail on unrelated charges of voyeurism and child pornography. Powell has denied the charges.
In an interview with ABC News last year, Steven Powell claimed he shared a sexual relationship with his daughter-in-law.
“There’s no question in my mind that the feelings were mutual,” he said.
Powell’s sister, Alina, portrayed her brother as a victim and said she believes he did not kill his wife.
“I think this was the act of somebody who had been so damaged by the lack of due process, so harassed and abused and lied about that he just reached a point of feeling like there was no…I don’t know,” she said.
The family of Susan Cox have said in the wake of Powell’s death that West Valley City, Utah, police had been closing in on arresting Powell for the murder of Cox.
They said the children had begun to describe their mother being in the trunk of the car when the father took them on a late night camping trip in freezing rain. That was the night that their mother disappeared.
Charlie and Braden Powell were to remain with their maternal grandparents, Chuck and Judy Cox, until their father’s next hearing, which was scheduled for July.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Kwegyirba Croffie, CNN
Tricia Escobedo, Ashley Strickland and John Zarrella, CNN
Lisa Respers France and Brian Stelter, CNN
Megan Shauri, FamilyShare