Washington, Utah communities honor Charlie and Braden Powell

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TACOMA, Wash. -- After a week of devastating news, the day of Charlie and Braden Powell's funeral came and went without drama or new disturbing details.

Still, for the Washington community affected by the boys' deaths, as in Utah, it's very personal. Community members made this evident outside, as well as inside of the church. The community was clear about its feelings for the boys.

Jason and Andrea Davis brought their condolences on Saturday along with their two sons, Ty and Cody. Their boys are nearly the same age as Charlie and Braden Powell were when they died.

"Showing them support is pretty much why we're here," Jason Davis said. "We just want them to know that we're here for them."

Bikers Against Child Abuse, the Gargoyles and Patriot Riders came to the funeral to counter any possible protesters.

"We wanted to show support for the Powell and Cox family in such a tragic time, so," said Owen Anderson, one counter protester. "We'd rather have this time as a remembrance and show love and support to people, rather than anything negative."


Others who filled the Life Center Church said they couldn't help but think about the unanswered questions about the boys' mother, Susan Cox Powell, who has been missing since December 2009.

"With Susan still missing and then for that to happen, it's just been tragic," said Marie Mundinger of Tacoma.

"I pray those boys are with their mom, and they go on and just live in the next life -- live a beautiful life," said Laurie Laroya, a resident of Tacoma.

For the Cox and Powell families, it was something they never anticipated one week ago. Family members embraced one another as they walked to and from their vehicles.

Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist attended the service and made a blunt remark connecting Josh Powell's actions on Sunday to a possible confession for Susan Powell's death.

"I consider the murder of these two little boys to be a confession of sorts to the murder of Susan Powell," Lindquist said. "But, just as we want to continue the investigation of the murder of these two little boys to answer any unanswered questions, I'm confident Utah will want to continue the investigation into the murder of Susan Powell."

People in the Powell's former home of West Valley City gathered for a vigil.

Saturday evening, about two dozen Graham community members gathered on the site of Josh Powell's home where the boys were killed. They expressed gratitude for the emergency responders involved, and discussed having the land made into a park dedicated to Charlie and Braden. A prayer was said asking that laughter and joy be restored to the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, in Utah, another community touched by the Powell boys gathered to remember them. The group, many of them strangers to the family, lit candles in honor of the Powell boys. Moved by the events leading up to last week, they also said prayers for the boys and their family.



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Andrew Wittenberg


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