Josh Powell's Sons' Funeral: Mourners Remember 'Clever' Boys

Charlie and Braden Powell were laid to rest today.

February 11, 2012, 8:04 AM

Feb. 11, 2012— -- Surrounded by hundreds of mourners wearing purple and blue ribbons, the Powell and Cox families put their differences aside today to remember the two young victims -- Charlie and Braden Powell -- who died in the home explosion that Josh Powell deliberately set last Sunday.

Chuck and Judy Cox, the parents of the boys' missing mother, thanked the crowd for their support "throughout this trial we've been enduring." Josh Powell's parents did not speak.

The remains of Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5, were in one coffin adorned with flowers at the Life Center in Tacoma, Wash.

The focus of the funeral rested squarely on remembering the lives of the "clever" and "amazing" boys who died in a home explosion that police say was deliberately set by Josh Powell when a social worker took them for a bi-weekly supervised visit.

Charlie's kindergarten teacher remembered him as a boy who "loved to make salsa and bake bread." Charlie was fascinated with insects, too, and was known to sneak a caterpillar or worm into class on occasion.

"He was an amazing young man. He had an appreciation for nature I had never seen in someone so young," his former teacher said.

Braden's pre-kindergarten teacher spoke about the boy she said had a "sharp mind" and a big imagination. He loved the color orange and was fascinated by cars, trucks, and trains.

The coffin will be interred in a private ceremony on Monday.

Six days after the tragedy, police say they are closing in on new clues that they hope will help them find out what happened to the slain boys' missing mother.

On Friday, authorities discovered a blood-stained comforter in Josh Powell's storage unit, however it remains unknown whether the blood is from his missing wife, Susan, who disappeared on Dec. 7, 2009.

Josh Powell visited the unit one day before he killed himself and his two sons.

Police also released surveillance footage of Powell withdrawing $7,000 from a local bank.

And in a new twist, Susan Powell's family says police are closing in on Josh Powell's father, Steven, calling him a "person of interest" in the young mother's disappearance.

Steven Powell is in jail on unrelated charges of voyeurism and child pornography. Powell has denied the charges.

In an interview with ABC News last year, Steven Powell claimed he shared a sexual relationship with his daughter-in-law.

"There's no question in my mind that the feelings were mutual," he said.

Powell's sister, Alina, portrayed her brother as a victim and said she believes he did not kill his wife.

"I think this was the act of somebody who had been so damaged by the lack of due process, so harassed and abused and lied about that he just reached a point of feeling like there was no... I don't know," she said.

Powell, who was reportedly upset he had been denied custody of his two sons, slammed the door on social worker Elizabeth Griffin-Hall when she brought Charlie and Braden for a biweekly supervised visit with their father.

"I'm saying, 'Let me in, Josh, let me in,'" Griffin-Hall told ABC News in an exclusive interview. "I realized I didn't have my phone in my hand and I could smell gas. Too much time had passed and I could smell gas."

Josh Powell's lawyer, Jeffrey Bassett, said he received an email from him minutes before the explosion that said "I'm sorry. Goodbye." Bassett didn't see the email until two hours after the blast.

At a hearing the week before the fatal fire, Josh Powell was ordered to undergo a psychosexual evaluation and polygraph test in order to get his children back, after it was revealed police had found realistic computer-generated depictions of parent-child sex on his computer, Detective Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department told The Associated Press.

The family of Susan Cox has said in the wake of Powell's death that West Valley City, Utah, police had been closing in on arresting Powell for the murder of Cox.

They said the children had begun to describe their mother being in the trunk of the car when the father took them on a late night camping trip in freezing rain the night their mother disappeared.

Charlie and Braden Powell were to remain with their maternal grandparents, Chuck and Judy Cox, until their father's next hearing, which was scheduled for July.

ABC News' Colleen Curry contributed to this report

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