Dad Accused of Killing Wife, Their 5 Kids, Mother-in-Law

Wife in Utah tragedy had recently filed for divorce
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 5, 2023 1:50 AM CST
Updated Jan 6, 2023 12:09 AM CST
8 Family Members, 5 of Them Kids, Found Fatally Shot in Utah
Police tape surrounds the crime scene in Enoch, Utah, where eight members of a family were found dead from gunshot wounds, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023.   (Ben B. Braun/The Deseret News via AP)
UPDATE Jan 6, 2023 12:09 AM CST

Officials say a father killed his wife, his mother-in-law, and the couple's five children before taking his own life this week in Enoch, Utah. Tausha Haight, 40, had filed for divorce from suspect Michael Haight, 42, on Dec. 21, KUTV reports. Authorities believe Michael Haight fatally shot his estranged wife; her mother Gail Earl, 78, who lived with them; and five children: girls ages 17, 12, and 7, and boys ages 7 and 4, CNN reports. The couple had been married 20 years. At a press conference Thursday, the local police chief revealed, "We had been involved in some investigations with the family a couple years prior." He gave no details. Tausha Haight's divorce attorney says he met with her three times before she was killed, and that "there was nothing foreseeable" to indicate a tragedy like this might be a risk.

Jan 5, 2023 1:50 AM CST

Eight family members, five of them children, were found dead from gunshot wounds in a southern Utah home Wednesday, according to authorities who did not provide more details or a potential motive for the killings. The victims were found when police did a welfare check at the residence, according to a statement by city officials in Enoch, a small town of about 8,000 people located 245 miles south of Salt Lake City. Police said they did not detect any threat to the public, the AP reports. Enoch City Manager Rob Dotson said the community was sent reeling by news of the eight bodies and that the deceased—all members of one family—were well known in the southern Utah town.

“Many of us have served with them in church, in the community and gone to school with these individuals,” Dotson said in a video statement Wednesday night. “This community at this time is hurting. They’re feeling loss, they’re feeling pain and they have a lot of questions,” Dotson added, noting that officials planned on releasing more information as it becomes available and the police investigation progresses. “We won’t know the mindsets, the thoughts of the individuals who experienced this tragedy, but we all can pray that their families and the neighbors and all will come to an understanding of what happened in this place, probably in a day or two, or maybe longer," said Dotson, choking up at one point.

(Read more Utah stories.)

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