Authorities say an explosion and fire Sunday at the Washington state home of Josh Powell, husband of missing Utah woman Susan Powell, has killed him and his two children.
Emails Powell sent authorities seemed to confirm that Powell planned the deadly blast.
The explosion occurred just moments after a Child Protective Services worker brought the two boys to the home for a supervised visit, said Graham Fire and Rescue Chief Gary Franz.
"Everything we know right now, this has become a crime scene," Franz said.
Powell let the boys into his house, then blocked the social worker from entering. The social worker called her supervisors to report that she could smell gas, and the home exploded.
The social worker was reported as safe, but "very shook up," according to Sherry Hill, spokeswoman for the Department of Social and Health Services for Washington state.
Jeffrey Bassett, who represented Josh Powell in the custody case, said he received a three-word email from his client just minutes before Powell and his two boys died in a house explosion. It said, "I’m sorry, goodbye."
The email arrived at 12:05 p.m. Sunday, Washington time, about 10 minutes before the explosion, but he didn’t see until it two hours later, when others told him Josh and the boys had been killed.
Bassett said he knew Josh was upset after a judge last week ordered that Powell’s sons, Charlie, 7 and Braden, 5, remain in the custody of their grandparents, Chuck and Judy Cox. The judge also ordered Josh to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation.
Josh Powell also was under investigation in the disappearance of his 28-year-old wife Susan Powell from their West Valley City home in December 2009.
Hill said her office had no idea that Powell had anything like this planned.
"We would have gone back to court had we any indication that Josh Powell was suicidal," Hill said.
She called the situation tragic.