MINNEAPOLIS — A year after Josh Powell killed himself and his two sons in an explosive house fire in Washington state, his brother has committed suicide.
Kiirsi Hellewell, a friend of Powell's estranged sister, said Powell's brother jumped to his death from a Minneapolis parking garage Monday. The Hennepin County medical examiner's office confirmed Wednesday the victim was 30-year-old Michael C. Powell.
Josh Powell was the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife, Susan Powell, who vanished in Utah in 2009. The sensational case took an even more bizarre turn as Powell's father, Steve, went on national television and claimed he and Susan had been falling in love, and as Susan Powell's parents fought for custody of their grandchildren.
Josh Powell was living in Pierce County, Wash., on Feb. 5, 2012, when he locked a social worker out of his home, attacked his two young sons with a hatchet and set the house ablaze. Days earlier, a court had ordered Powell to undergo an intensive psycho-sexual evaluation as part of the custody dispute.
Michael Powell's suicide came a week after dozens of relatives and supporters gathered for a candlelight vigil to mark the anniversary of the boys' death.
Before his death, Michael Powell had been involved in a court fight with Susan's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, over the proceeds of a life insurance policy Josh Powell took out on himself and the boys, 7-year-old Charlie and 5-year-old Braden.
Steve Powell is in prison after being convicted of voyeurism for secretly recording neighbor girls as they showered and used the bathroom.