A Christmas Box Angel, from the Richard Paul Evans book and movie “The Christmas Box” has been purchased using funds donated by the public. Ed Troyer a Pierce County Deputy and Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor were the first to act in purchasing the grave sites adjacent to Charlie and Braden to prevent Josh Powell their murder from being buried next to his victims. Ed Troyer is also the Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s department and the president of the local “Crime Stoppers of Tacoma/Pierce County” non-profit corporation.
The story and fund-raising for purchasing the adjacent plots was soon publicised by KIRO radio by local talk show hosts “Ron and Don”. The response was terrific, and “Crime Stoppers” received donations from all over. The tragedy of the death of Charlie and Braden at the hand of their father brought overwhelming public involvement. The funeral for Charlie and Braden was broadcast live across the Nation and over the internet around the world as it had become clear that the world had come to love these two innocent children and also needed to grieve. The grief felt by Charlie and Braden’s class mates, first responders and local families, made it clear that many people locally and around the world had become involved and had the need for healing.
We learned that the Christmas Box Angel statue has become a symbol for many to ease the pain of those who have lost a child. At all of the Christmas Box Angels across the Nation on December 6, every year (by unbelievable coincidence the night Susan went missing) at 7pm, a candle light vigil is held. Those who have lost children or need to grieve for a loved one, come and place a white flower at the base of the statue in honor of those who have returned to heaven.
Realizing that many parents and families have to deal with this type of loss, it became evident that an Angel Statue would be a fitting memorial and that it would benefit the entire community. We currently have purchased the statue and it is here, it will be mounted on a 5 foot tall granite pedestal which is also here and being engraved. The statue will be installed at the Woodbine cemetary on the hill overlooking the gravesite of Charlie, Braden and other children. Local businesses have joined together to help prepare the site, to receive the statue, many have volunteered to supply materials, equipment, expertise and labor. It is hoped that the site will be prepared and the statue installed in time for the December 6th Vigil. We are working with these architects, contractors, engineers, the monument company and the city to complete this project. We had expected to have already had the statue installed by now but as with all projects things are never as simple as they seem. The project is awaiting final approval of plans and authorization to begin work. We will keep everyone informed of our progress.