WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Susan Powell’s parents filing a lawsuit against Washington State because of apparent breakdowns in the system designed to keep their grandchildren safe.
"They did have the warning signs and supposedly they're the professionals. It's their job to figure this stuff out,” said Susan’s father, Chuck Cox. "The children, we miss them, but we know they're with their mother.”
Chuck and Judy Cox worked with the West Valley Police Department and social workers in Washington, yet their two grandchildren were murdered by the hands of their own father, Josh Powell.
"There were errors made this should not have happened,” Chuck said.
“They did everything right and everything went wrong,” said the Cox family attorney, Anne Bremner.
A 13 page report compiled by a panel of experts suggests mistakes made by social workers in Washington. The first was on day one, when the boys were checked into Washington’s system.
According to the report, Washington social workers wrote an answer to this question about the Powell family, "Has anyone used or threatened to use physical force against an adult in the home?”
"...the intake workers answered "no"...", the report reveals.
The panel of experts investigating the system responsible for Charlie and Braden responded, "...social workers could have answered "yes”.
“This is a good start in this report in saying they should have put this in a domestic violence category like we were talking about off camera the best prediction of future violence is previous violence,” said Bremner. “If there's probable cause someone was involve in the disappearances of a spouse, killed them, they can't have the kids that easy. It's common sense,” she continued.
Chuck and Judy Cox want this apparent mistake fixed in Washington’s system. In fact Bremner says they’re pushing for an entire overhaul of the system responsible for children in Washington state custody.
West Valley Police are responding to this report with a news release. Part of it reads, "Josh is solely responsible for his horrific actions back in February of this year and individually responsible for the murders of Charlie and Braden."
Chuck Cox said, "They did have the warning signs and supposedly they're the professionals. It's their job to figure this stuff out, and be, take care of the children and I say it failed."
Washington required a waiting period of 60 days before filing a law suit against the state. Bremner says she’ll file this case as soon as possible.