The memory of Charlie and Braden Powell is being carried on by a group of detectives who found a sweet picture that made them smile following the deaths of the two boys.
Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5, were murdered on Feb. 5, 2012 by their father, Josh Powell, in a home explosion that killed all three. Powell, the only person of interest in the disappearance of his wife, Susan, had lost custody of the two boys. He killed them when they arrived at his home for what was supposed to be a supervised visit.
While cleaning out Powell’s storage unit, detectives unraveled a white piece of paper and saw a picture of a dinosaur. Above it, in red marker, it said “Charlie.”
“Having gone through that investigation, and having been very affected by it, a small group of us decided to get together,” Lynette Anderson, a Pierce County, Wash., detective, told ABC News’ Seattle affiliate KOMO-TV.
Charlie’s Dinosaur, a non-profit to help foster children, was hatched.
The group takes donations of toiletries, books, toys and other items, fills backpacks and distributes them to foster children. They’re also hoping to provide school supplies to disadvantaged or at-risk children.
“Our goal is to provide a backpack of personal items for these children to help them gain a sense of comfort and security in owning their own clothing and hygiene supplies,” said the group on the Charlie’s Dinosaur Facebook page.
Anderson said the group has a goal of distributing a hundred backpacks each month.
Police had called Josh Powell a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife, who he claimed went missing from their Utah home after he and his then 2- and 4-year-old sons went on a midnight camping trip in December 2009.
He was never arrested or charged, but he lost custody of his sons after his father, Steven Powell, was arrested in September and charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of child pornography. The pornographic images were kept in the home the two men shared with Josh and Susan Powell’s boys.