Younger brother of Josh Powell, crazed dad who killed sons and himself in 2012 house explosion, commits suicide in Minneapolis
Michael Powell, 30, leapt off a multistory parking garage on Monday afternoon. Powell's brother, Josh, was a person of interest in the 2009 disappearance of his wife, Susan Cox Powell, when he blew up a home with his two sons inside last February.
Above, Josh Powell, husband of Susan Cox Powell, killed himself and his two young songs in Graham, Wash., last February. His brother, Michael, died in a suicide on Monday. The brother of a troubled Washington state dad who incinerated himself and his two young sons in a horrific murder-suicide last year committed suicide by leaping off parking garage in Minnesota, police said.
Michael Powell, a 30-year-old grad student at the University of Minnesota, died instantly after jumping from the seven-story structure in Minneapolis around 2:30 p.m. Monday, authorities said.
The suicide was the latest chapter in the grim saga of the Powell family that began with the disappearance of Susan Cox Powell from her West Valley, Utah, home -- allegedly at the hands of her husband -- in December 2009.
HARDMAN PHOTOGRAPHY VIA AP
Susan Powell vanished in 2009. Her disappearance was the start of a bizarre case that ended in the horrific death of her children at the hands of her husband, Josh Powell.
Michael Powell's death leap comes exactly a year and a week after his older brother Josh Powell butchered his sons with a hatchet and then blew up them and himself in a gas explosion during what was to be a supervised custody visit at a home in Graham, Wash.
The garage area of the home in Graham, Wash., where Josh Powell and his two sons were killed. Powell's wife, Susan, went mysteriously missing from their West Valley City, Utah, home in December 2009, and he was person of interest -- though never an official suspect -- in her disappearance.
According to reports, the younger Powell was locked in a bitter legal battle with his dead brother's in-laws over Josh's $3.5 million life insurance claim.
Chuck and Judy Cox, in-laws of Josh Powell and parents of Susan Cox Powell. Michael Powell and the Coxes were in a dispute over who would receive payment from Josh Powell's $3.5 million insurance claim, which was taken out several months before his death.
"I just felt so heartbroken for her," Kiirsi Hellewell said. "They have been through so much.
"Even though she's been estranged from Michael for the last three years, she still loved him," she added. "He's still her brother. She grew up with him, and she's just got to be going through so much."
Michael Powell rigorously defended his brother during the disappearance ordeal, helping Josh move to Washington from Utah, where he and Susan lived before she vanished, and later launching a website accusing the Coxes and police of harassing his brother, the Times reported.
Josh Powell was never officially named a suspect in his wife's December 2009 disappearance. He said that she vanished mysteriously after he took the two boys camping, leaving after midnight in freezing weather.
The Powells' father, Steven Powell, is currently serving a 2.5-year prison term for acts of voyeurism against young girls.