Special Reports

Was there a clue in Braden Powell's drawing?

On Sunday, just hours after the deaths of Charlies and Braden Powell and their father, several media outlets were reporting that one of the children had made a drawing depicting a family outing that indicated their mother, Susan Cox Powell, was in the trunk of a vehicle.

She disappeared in 2009 while the family lived in West Valley City, Utah. She has never been found, and police in Utah named Josh Powell as a “person of interest” in the case.

On Monday, the boys’ grandfather, Chuck Cox, said Braden, the younger of the two Powell children, had drawn a picture the summer after his mother’s disappearance. The drawing showed three people in a vehicle.

Asked what was in the drawing by his day-care teachers, Braden – about 3 at the time – said the drawing showed himself, his dad and his brother Charlie.

Asked where his mother was, he replied, “Mommy is in the trunk,” Chuck Cox said Monday. He said Braden said the vehicle stopped somewhere and that his mother got out and never came back, Cox said.

He believes the children might have been able to remember more details about the trip had they been able to undergo hypnosis.

What happened to the drawing?

Braden gave it to his father, Judy Cox said.

West Valley City (Utah) police spokesman Sgt. Mike Powell declined to say Tuesday whether detectives had heard of or seen the drawing.

"I am not able to discuss anything pertinent to the investigation," said Powell, who is not related to Josh Powell. "We want to maintain the integrity of the investigation."

Staff writer Stacey Mulick contributed to this report.