Josh Powell received good review after good review from the supervised visits he had with two sons.
Powell always used every minute of his time with the boys, 7-year-old Charlie and 5-year-old Braden. He smiled at them, hugged them and made eye contact with them, according to reports filed by Elizabeth Griffin-Hall, the caseworker who supervised the visits.
The reports were released today by the state Department of Social and Health Services in response to media requests. Powell set his Graham-area home on fire Feb. 5, killing himself and his boys.
According to Griffin Hall’s reports, Powell often had activities planned, whether it was building bug houses, carving a pumpkin or reading stories. He gave them juice, brought them lunch or made “beautiful” breakfasts.
Powell set boundaries for the boys and officiated squabbles between them.
“Dad is very attentive to the boys and listens carefully to their words and ideas,” Griffin-Hall wrote after an Oct. 23 visit. “He smiles, laughs and holds them.”
Initially, the visits were held at the Foster Care Resource Network.Powell was always there, waiting for Griffin Hall to arrive with the boys.
By November, the visits moved to Powell’s home. (The reports do not include an address.) Griffin Hall noted the home was clean and child friendly.
The boys were happy to see dad and showered him with hugs and kisses. They often ran from Griffin-Hall’s car to see their father.
The goodbyes tended to be drawn out, lasting several minutes. Powell would help buckle the boys into their car seats and said he loved them.
During a visit Nov. 27, Griffin-Hall noted that Braden told Powell, “They found Mommy in the desert.” When Powell asked the boys who said that, neither answered.
“Dad became agitated and turned red,” the report noted. “He asked the boys again and they did not respond. I changed the subject back to eating dessert.”
Griffin-Hall’s last detailed report was for a visit Jan. 29. The visit started off as they frequently did – with Charlie and Braden unbuckled their seat belts and bolted into their father’s house, shouting “Daddy.”
The boys went straight for a wrapped-up gingerbread house that they’d made on a previous, supervised visit with their father.
Powell let the boys have some of the remaining candy decorations. Braden, 5, selected gumdrops. Charlie, 7, picked gumballs.
Powell then told his boys the house was getting too old to keep and, after the three of them knocked it into small pieces, they put it into the trash can.
During the rest of the visit, the boys and Powell watched television, ate hot dogs and breakfast sandwiches and played.
Braden played with a remote-controlled, infrared plane and car. Charlie helped Powell water the bamboo.
They drew on shrinky dinks paper and marveled at the shrinking process.
At 3:55, the boys put on their shoes and coats.
“Dad walked boys out to car and buckled them into the booster seats,” Griffin-Hall wrote. “He told them he loved them and would see them as soon as he could. He said, ‘be happy and have a good time.’”
At 4:03 p.m. Griffin-Hall drove away from the house.