Over a thousand people turned out to mourn the deaths of Charlie and Braden Powell Saturday, at a public funeral in Tacoma, Washington. The funeral came almost a week after their father Josh Powell killed them by setting fire to his house.
"We want to celebrate their innocence today," said the Rev. Dean Curry, lead pastor of Life Center Church in Tacoma. "We want to be grateful for the moments we had with these children."
Their grandfather Chuck Cox expressed his gratitude to police, social workers, teachers and everyone who demonstrated concern for his grandchildren, along with the thousands who prayed for his grandsons after their death.
It "helps us to know that there are good people in the world -- good people who fight against evil," Cox said.
"We know that they're with their mother," Cox said, remembering his daughter, Susan Powell, who has been missing for two years, with Police identifying Powell as a person of interest in her disappearance.
Susan who is now presumed dead was last seen in West Valley City, Utah, in Dec. 2009. While her husband has never been formerly charged in the unsolved case, prosecutors consider these latest murders admission that he killed her.
Josh Powell was in a bitter custody battle at the time, losing custody to the children's maternal grandparents, after being arrested on charges of child pornography and voyeurism.
Police say the children were arriving to a supervised visit, when Powell blockaded the door refused to let the social worker enter, then afterwards he attacked his sons with a hatchet, and set the house alight.
Funeral goers close to the Cox family wore buttons with Charlie and Braden's pictures on them with the words, "In the hands of God," and blue and purple ribbons to remember their mother.
"They were happy boys," said Michael Coons, who conducted the afternoon service. "They leave a big hole in the hearts of many."