The date that marked nine years since Susan Powell was reported missing came and went recently and Susan’s parents haven’t lost hope that their girl will be found. They’re putting that hope behind a new charity to help foster children.
On Feb. 5, 2012, Josh killed himself and the couple’s two children Charlie and Braden after custody of the boys had been awarded to Susan’s parents, Chuck and Judy Cox.
The organization was affectionately named for a drawing Charlie made, found in a storage unit.
Since the formation of Charlie’s Dinosaur, Chuck and Judy have worked with the organization, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, and child advocacy groups to improve the lives of kids thrown into the foster system.
“The goal of Charlie’s Dinosaur was to provide a backpack of personal items for the children to have some security in owning their own clothing and hygiene supplies,” Chuck told KIRO Radio’s Carolyn Ossorio.
That exists as one part of efforts to fix a foster system that can leave many within it feeling helpless.
“Foster children have no part in becoming a foster child, that’s through the choices of others,” Chuck said.
Now, Chuck and Judy have a pending lawsuit against the Department of Social and Health Services, alleging the wrongful death of Charlie and Braden, who were legally given into Josh Powell’s care shortly before they were tragically killed.
Their hope is that through the lawsuit, they’ll gain not just a victory toward honoring the memories of their lost grandchildren, but also to help foster children in need today, and ultimately prevent the next tragedy from ever occurring.
“(DSHS is) going to have to answer for it eventually — our hope is that they’re going to change some of their procedures,” Chuck vowed.