In the latest chapter of an almost operatic family tragedy, the brother of Josh Powell, who killed his sons and himself, has died in Minneapolis after apparently throwing himself from a seven-story parking structure.
The University of Minnesota, where Michael Powell was a graduate student, confirmed that the death occurred off campus and said the Minneapolis Police Department was investigating.
Powell, 30, had been engaged in a legal battle with the parents of his missing sister-in-law, Susan Cox Powell, over the proceeds of as much as $3.5 million in life insurance paid out after Josh Powell killed himself and the couple’s two young boys in February 2012.
Michael Powell, a doctoral student in cognitive science, had ardently defended his brother when Josh Powell was listed as a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife, who was last seen at the couple’s Utah home in December 2009.
Susan Powell’s parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, have long believed their son-in-law was involved in their daughter’s disappearance.
Josh Powell had designated his brother Michael and his sister Alina as beneficiaries on the life insurance policies in October 2011, four months before he died.
Michael and Alina Powell tried to collect on the policies a few weeks after their brother’s death, but the Coxes moved to block the distribution.