The state might have banned Josh Powell from having his two young sons at his Graham house if they had known Utah authorities considered him a person of interest in the 2009 disappearance of his wife, according to a Department of Social and Health Services report released today.
Having that information means “the department could have evaluated him differently for domestic violence and not allowed in-home visits with the boys.”
When a case worker brought Powell’s sons – Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5 –for a supervised visit Feb. 5, Powell attacked the boys with a hatchet before setting the home on fire with them inside. The children had been staying with their maternal grandparents while a judge decided who they should live with.
DSHS is required to conduct a fatality review when a child’s death is believed to be caused by abuse or neglect and the child has received services in the last year.
A 12-member committee comprised of law enforcement and child experts reviewed more than 2,700 pages of documents and interviewed the seven workers involved in the Powell case while putting together its 13-page report.
The panel also ruled that DSHS employees could not have known Josh Powell planned to kill his sons, and that they showed “the highest concern for the children’s health, safety and welfare.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.