After a power outage at the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department, Powell's body was found in Sheriff Truman's office, gagged, with his finger pointing to a chessboard.
His body was examined by Doctor Will Hayward and FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. A black pawn was found in his mouth and a stab wound under his sternum. Cooper determined this to be the work of Windom Earle.
Two days after the discovery of his body, his identity was confirmed to be a vagrant named Erik Powell, whose surname was shared with Caroline Earle's maiden name.