Chuck and Judy Cox were joined by 40 people Friday night at Woodbine Cemetery in Puyallup on the fourth anniversary of their daughter Susan Powell’s disappearance.
The family gathered at the cemetery to remember their daughter and to honor the Coxes’ grandsons, Charlie and Braden, who were killed by their father, Josh Powell, in February 2012. Powell, whom police were investigating as a person of interest in his wife’s Dec. 6, 2009, disappearance, also killed himself.
The Coxes publicly acknowledged the loss of their grandsons and daughter Friday night with a candle lighting and prayer, but the significance of the date weighed on them all day.
“I think it hit us more, Judy and myself, earlier in the morning,” Chuck Cox said. “It’s already been four years that our daughter’s been missing. We were emotional at home. It was a pretty hard day.”
The Coxes joined people across the country Friday as part of a growing movement to remember abused children at Christmas Box Angel of Hope memorial statues. There are more than 100 statues in 39 states — including the one at Woodbine Cemetery — and in Japan and Canada. The statues were born from the book “The Christmas Box” that details a fictional story of the death of a child. The child died Dec. 6, which is why the memorial is held on that day.
Grateful for the support Friday, Cox said he wished more people would have come to remember their children, not just his family.
“The idea of the Christmas Box Angel is for all the people who have lost a child,” he said.
Friday marks the second year the family has held the vigil at the cemetery. The inaugural event was high-profile, but as word spreads, Cox hopes more people will visit Woodbine Cemetery on Dec. 6. He speculated that Friday’s cold temperatures also kept people away.
The Puyallup couple are still seeking answers in the disappearance of their daughter, who was last seen at her Salt Lake City home. Police said Josh Powell was involved in his wife’s disappearance, but he was never arrested or charged before he killed his sons and himself in a rental house in near Graham.
The case into Susan Powell’s disappearance is still open, but police are not actively pursuing it.Brynn Grimley: 253-597-8467