PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Charlie and Braden Powell did not want to see their father Sunday during a court-ordered visitation, the boys' grandparents Chuck and Judy Cox said Monday.
The grandparents aren't sure why the boys didn't want to see Josh Powell at his Graham, Wash., rental house. But the Coxes insisted the children go on the visitation because of the court order, which they did accompanied by a state-provided escort.
It was during that visitation that police say Josh Powell set the home on fire, killing Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5, and himself.
Speaking to the media for the first time since their grandsons' deaths, a tearful Chuck and Judy Cox spoke of their family's pain, compounded by the loss of their daughter, Susan Powell. Josh Powell is also a person of interest in the December 2009 disappearance of his wife.
The Coxes also spoke about a drawing Braden had made showing the family of three riding in their minivan. Braden said the drawing showed the boys and their father.
When asked why the drawing did not show their mother, Braden said she was in the trunk, Chuck Cox said.
Charlie and Braden Powell had begun talking to their grandparents about things they remembered from the night their mother vanished, a lawyer for the Coxes said Sunday.
"They were beginning to verbalize more," attorney Steve Downing told The Associated Press.
"The oldest boy talked about that they went camping and that Mommy was in the trunk. Mom and Dad got out of the car, and Mom disappeared," Downing said.
On Monday, the Coxes took reporters into an addition they had constructed on their Puyallup, Wash., home to make room for their grandchildren. The room had two small beds with handmade quilts, one decorated with cars and the other with Spider-Man. Toys were stacked in a nearby room.
The Coxes are angry, but say it's difficult to know who to blame exactly. They understand why Josh Powell was allowed visitation, saying laws are written by civilized people. But "civilized people cannot even comprehend something like this," said Chuck Cox.
Judy Cox speculates Josh Powell's act was motivated by "desperation, selfishness and cowardice."
"He claims to love his children, but he destroys them in a fire?" said Chuck Cox, his voice breaking.
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