Special Reports

Detectives investigate Josh Powell’s visit to recycling center

Pierce County sheriff’s investigators have roped off part of a Graham recycling center after receiving a tip that Josh Powell threw some paper away there before he ignited a deadly house fire Sunday.

“We are just following up on a tip,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said Thursday. “We are not looking for anything specific.”

Detectives have been following up on tips and tracking down Powell’s movements in the days and hours before he killed himself and his sons, 7-year-old Charlie and 5-year-old Braden, at his Graham-area rental home.

Detectives went to the recycling center near 180th Street East and Meridian on Wednesday night. The investigators decided a more thorough search needed to be done and roped off the area.

Search and rescue volunteers will return to the area Sunday to do that more thorough search.

“We are just going to go through it,” Troyer said. “We are not leaving anything unturned.”


Associated Ministries will hold a Moment of Blessing ceremony Tuesday at the what’s left of the home where the two Powell brothers were killed.

The brief, spiritual ceremony for Charlie and Braden Powell will begin at 1:30 p.m. at 8119 189th St. Court E.

Associated Ministries holds Moment of Blessing ceremonies at the places in Pierce County where homicides have occurred. The ceremonies are intended to cleanse and reclaim those locations.

The ceremonies are designed to provide support to the victims’ family, friends and the community where the crimes happened.


The Silver Creek neighborhood community will be holding a bake sale Friday to raise money for Charlie and Braden Powell’s grandparents.

Treats can be bought from 4-8 p.m. at the Graham Fire Department, 10012 187th St. E, Puyallup.


A dogwood tree will be planted Saturday at Carson Elementary School in remembrance of Charlie and Braden Powell.

Mark and Sarah Lane, whose two daughters attended school with Charlie, said they considered placing flowers at a makeshift memorial but settled on something more permanent.

The white-flowering tree, donated by Alpine Nursery, will be planted in front of the school, 8615 184th St. E, at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The public is invited.

“We chose a white tree because it signifies purity and innocence,” Mark Lane said.

A plaque reading “Through the life of this tree grows the memory and love of Charlie and Braden Powell. Feb, 5, 2012” will be posted near the tree.


Josh Powell warned the Centralia couple who rented him their Graham-area home that they could expect some media attention.

Patrick and Necia Smalls researched Powell on the Internet and found the stories about his missing wife, Susan Cox Powell.

“But there were no charges against him,” Necia Powell said.

So last fall, they gave the go-ahead to a rental agency to let Powell and his two young boys move in the home. The Smalls had never met Powell but he had let them know through the agency that he was interested in buying the home.

On Sunday, they saw news reports that the home had burned with Powell and his boys inside.

Patrick Small summed up the feeling with two words: “Shock. Disbelief.”

The Smalls said they were are unsure whether they’ll rebuild the home. Their insurance company is still estimating how much of the damage it will cover.

Staff writers Stacy Mulick and Stacia Glenn and The (Centralia) Chronicle contributed to this report.