Josh Powell was not actually living in the home he blew up earlier this month, killing himself and his two sons, according to police.
Detectives say Powell was residing at the home of his father, Steven Powell, in Puyallup, Wash., and only used the home in nearby Graham, Wash., for supervised visits with his sons, Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.
“There was hardly anything there,” Pierce County Sheriff’s Det. Ed Troyer told the Tribune of the rental house. “Just some pictures on the wall. The neighbors had not seen him in three months.”
According to a Tacoma News Tribune report, police told reporters that Powell staged the home to make a good impression on Child Protective Services.
“He set it up like a rental place, with pictures of the family,” Sgt. Denny Wood told reporters during a briefing. “I think it was staged so when CPS [Child Protective Services] came, it would look like a loving family.”
In September, Josh’s father, Steven Powell, was arrested on charges of child pornography. Last week, police described him as a "person of interest" in the 2009 disappearance of his daughter-in-law, Susan.
Prior to killing himself and his sons, Josh Powell withdrew $6,500 from his bank account, the Tribune reports. Police said he left instructions for his sister to pay bills and give the rest of the cash to his attorney, and also told her how to turn off the utilities at the rental house.
Police also reported that they found gas cans and large amounts of food inside a storage unit owned by the family.
A public memorial for the boys was held over the weekend.