SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - In front of a room full of reporters, Josh Powell's estranged sister Jennifer Graves opened up for the first time since the deaths of her two nephews, Charlie, 7 and Braden, 5.
When Graves first heard from a family friend that her nephews were dead and that Josh had killed himself, she thought it was some kind of mistake. Graves says she always knew Josh was capable of causing harm, but never thought he'd take it this far.
"I had a little fear in the back of my mind that it was possible. He killed his wife, but I thought he had more care and concern for the children," says Graves. Over time Josh showed more signs of what Graves calls "emotionally detrimental" behavior especially towards his wife Susan who has been missing for over two years. In hindsight, Graves believes if Josh was that intent on killing his children, there's nothing that would have stopped him. "He would have found a way. It wouldn't have mattered where they met."
Jennifer's husband Kirk Graves weighed in on accusations from Steve Powell's sister and brother-in-law in Washington. In a family statement, Maurice and Patti Leach allege the Powell "family tragedy was set into motion from the begining due in part to the various questionable government agencies' practices, religious bias, the internet kangaraoo courts, and sensationalized news media." Kirk Graves says Josh's family wants to blame someone, but they refuse to blame Josh. "They're the ones who allow themselves to be blinded by Josh's lies and refuse to see the truth."
Both Jennifer and Kirk were hoping one day to raise Charlie and Braden. They say they had agreed with Chuck and Judy Cox to adopt them. Instead, they're mourning their loss like they would their own children. As for Josh, Jennifer says it's going to be a long time before she can forgive what he did. "There was a time when I felt sorry for Josh and the choices he made, but after hearing the brutal way he killed his sons, I have a hard time feeling those feelings for him right now."
Jennifer wants the search for Susan Powell to continue, and believes that her father Steven Powell may know where her body is.
Jennifer and Kirk Graves plan to travel to Washington for the funerals of both Charlie and Braden Powell this Saturday. They have set up a memorial fund in their names at all Wells Fargo Bank locations. They say the funds will help pay for the funerals.