Father identified as suspect in murder-suicide of Utah family of 8
Michael Haight, 42, was described as a suspect in the deaths of his family that included his wife, their five children and his mother-in-law.
A Utah man fatally shot his family of seven in a home Wednesday and then himself, authorities said.
Michael Haight, 42, his wife; Tausha Haight, 40, and Tausha’s mother; 78-year-old Gail Earl, were discovered dead at the home, officials in Enoch City in southwestern Utah said. The couple’s five children, ages from 4 to 17, were also killed.
The city called Michael Haight a suspect in a statement Thursday.
Tausha Haight had filed a divorce petition in late December, officials at a media briefing said, stopping short of saying that was a factor in the deaths.
“Investigators currently believe there are no suspects outstanding. Evidence suggests that the suspect took his own life after killing seven others in the home,” the statement said.
The children were identified only by their ages and genders: a 17-year-old female, a 12-year-old female, a 7-year-old female, a 7-year-old male and a 4-year-old male.
Police were called to the home about 4 p.m. Wednesday for a welfare check by concerned family and friends.
Enoch City is about 180 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Enoch City Mayor Geoffrey Chestnut said the incident has shaken the tight-knit community of about 7,500 residents.
"The Haights were my neighbors. The youngest children played in my yard with my sons," Chestnut said at a news conference Thursday. "This is a tremendous blow to many, many families who have spent many, many nights with these individuals who are now gone."
City Manager Rob Dotson mourned the family Thursday.
"We don't know why this happened. No one will probably know what was going through the minds of these individuals," he said. "However, we do know that they were our friends, they were our neighbors and that we loved them."
Enoch City Police Chief Jackson Ames said police had been involved with some investigations with the family a couple of years prior, but declined to elaborate.
Police completed a welfare check after Tausha Haight missed an appointment Wednesday, officials said.
The Iron County School District said the five children were students there, according to a letter addressed to district parents and guardians.
“This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school district, especially our students,” the letter said.
The district added that a crisis intervention team would be available for students.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.