Josh Powell won't be buried with slain sons, his mother says

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Story highlights

  • Terri Powell says her son will not be buried at Woodbine Cemetery
  • Of his sons, she says: "We ... want their resting place to be a place of peace and comfort"
  • Authorities say the father snatched the boys from a social worker and killed them

Josh Powell, the Washington man accused of killing himself and his children in a fiery murder-suicide this month, will not be buried with his two slain sons, his mother said Thursday.

Authorities say Powell snatched the children from a social worker delivering them for a supervised visit, locked the doors and hacked them with a hatchet before an explosion engulfed his home on February 5.

The gas-fueled blast killed Powell and his sons, Charles, 7, and Braden, 5, a grisly end to a story that started with the 2009 disappearance of the boys' mother.

"We have tried so hard to be loving and considerate and respectful in making Josh's burial arrangements. We love our little Charlie and Braden and want their resting place to be a place of peace and comfort," Terri Powell, Josh Powell's mother, said in a statement.

"We have made the determination that Josh will not be buried at Woodbine Cemetery, but are in the process of making other arrangements," she added.

Earlier, an anti-crime group in Washington rallied to block Powell's relatives from burying him near the two sons he killed.

Powell's relatives had previously wanted him laid to rest near his sons at Woodbine Cemetery in their hometown of Puyallup, and expressed interest in a plot there, CNN affiliate KOMO reported Wednesday.

    But the mother's side of the family said having the father buried near the children would be an outrage, and pledged to derail the plans.

    "I just can't see this happening ... and I just hope it goes away quickly," said Charles Cox, the boys' maternal grandfather.

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    In an attempt to block the move, Crime Stoppers and the local sheriff bought the plots on both sides of where the boys are buried, according to the affiliate.

    The nonprofit, which works with local police, announced plans to buy the plots on its website and asked for donations to help cover the cost. Extra funds will go toward beautification of the site and supporting other crime victims in the area, the group said.

    "The plan here is not for us to own grave sites, it's to stop Josh Powell or anybody that doesn't deserve to be next to those boys there," said Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

    An attorney for the boys' maternal grandparents planned to seek a temporary restraining order to block the burial.

    The grandparents, Charles and Judy Cox, were engaged in a long and bitter child custody battle with Powell at the time of his death.

    Utah authorities have said he was under investigation in the disappearance of the boys' mother, Susan Cox-Powell.

    While she has not been found, the Coxes have suggested they are certain she is dead. Charles Cox said of his grandsons, "We know that they are with their mother."

    The boys were buried Saturday in a service attended by hundreds.