A public firestorm has persuaded Josh Powell's relatives to back off plans to bury Powell in the same Puyallup cemetery (click here for Seattle Weekly's story) as the boys he killed in a gas-fueled inferno on Feb. 5.
Kirk Graves, brother-in-law of Josh Powell, told The Associated Press that his mother has decided to give up a plot tentatively reserved at Woodbine Cemetery overlooking the boys' final resting place."We felt very strongly that it wasn't appropriate to put him anywhere near the boys, and we did our best over the last 48 hours to convince her to do something different," he said. "It wasn't that hard to convince her -- she just got started off on the wrong path."
Powell, the husband of missing Utah woman Susan Powell, killed his 5- and 7-year-old sons and himself at a home he was renting in Graham.
More than 1,000 mourners attended the boys' funeral Saturday. They were later buried in a single casket at Woodbine, a municipal cemetery in Puyallup.
According to Graves, Powell's mother, wracked by grief, visited a funeral home and a few cemeteries, and "cluelessly" picked a gravesite just up the hill from where the boys are buried.
The decision was met with public fury, and the parents of Susan Powell threatened legal action to keep Josh Powell from being buried so close.
Meanwhile, the anti-crime organization Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County purchased the plots on either side of the boys to ensure that he didn't wind up next to them. Crime Stoppers raised about $20,000 in donations for the effort in less than a day.
Said Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer: "We might not be able to keep Josh Powell out of the cemetery, but it's way better than having him right next to he boys."