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Police buy cemetery plots to block Josh Powell from being buried next to his boys

Photographs of Charles Powell, right, and Braden Powell are displayed during their funeral services in Tacoma, Wash., on Saturday.

A sheriff and his sergeant in Washington state have bought burial plots next to Josh Powell's boys in order to block family members from burying him next to them, according to a media report Wednesday.

"The bottom line is, Josh Powell will not be near those two boys," Pierce County Sheriff's Sgt. Ed Troyer said in an interview with a Seattle-area radio program called the Ron and Don Show.

Josh Powell's surviving relatives wanted him to buried at the same cemetery as the two sons he killed, the city manager in Puyallup said earlier Wednesday.


But that does not look like it is going to happen.

Troyer and Sheriff Paul Pastor used their personal money and funds from Crimestoppers Tacoma-Pierce County to buy plots that are on either side of the boys, according to a report on the radio station's website that was confirmed by Troyer on Twitter:

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Crimestoppers is soliciting money on its website for the purchase of the plots.

"It's disgusting that a murder suspect would be buried next to his victims," Pastor said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Powell's relatives visited the public Woodbine Cemetery and selected a plot about 25 feet from the boys, City Manager Ralph Dannenberg told The Associated Press earlier Wednesday. They haven't paid for it yet, and any sale is being put on hold because the parents of Powell's missing wife have promised legal action.

"We don't have any rules or procedures regarding refusing plots to anyone," Dannenberg said. "We're going to wait to see what the outcome is in court."

Powell was a suspect in Susan Powell's 2009 disappearance from their home in West Valley City, Utah. He later moved with his sons to near Tacoma, Wash., to be close to his parents. On Feb. 5, he attacked his sons with a hatchet and set his rental house on fire, killing himself and his sons, Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5.

Cops: Josh Powell murder-suicide house was sham set up for social worker visits

The boys were laid to rest at Woodbine on Saturday. Attorney Anne Bremner, who represents Susan Powell's parents, Charles and Judy Cox, says she would seek a temporary restraining order to block Josh Powell from being buried there.

"For him to be buried near those kids is just unthinkable," Bremner said. "For God's sake, for them to lose Susan first, and then the boys, and now this? Just give these people a break."

Powell's sister Alina did not return an email from the AP seeking comment.

Meanwhile, Powell's father, Steve Powell, who is awaiting trial in Pierce County, Wash., on voyeurism and child pornography charges, filed a motion with the court saying he does not wish to speak to the FBI or other law enforcement about his son’s case or the disappearance of his daughter-in-law.

Mark T. Quigley, Steve Powell’s attorney, told the Salt Lake City Tribune that the notice, filed Tuesday, was common in criminal trials to protect rights against self-incrimination. It was prompted by a visit last week in which Steve Powell reportedly rebuffed FBI agents.

"It’s simply a statement to law enforcement that says my client doesn’t want to talk," Quigley told the paper. "That’s [Steve Powell’s] right. I don’t think belligerent has anything to do with it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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