The 42-year-old father of the family found dead on Wednesday in Enoch, Utah, United States, was the one who killed his five children, ages 4 to 17, his mother, 78, and his wife, 40, and then committed suicide, two weeks after his wife filed for divorce. Investigators still cannot say with certainty that this was the reason for the multiple murders, while the rural community of some 7,500 inhabitants where many knew the family says that the event has not been explained.
At a Thursday news conference, Enoch Police Chief Jackson Ames said officers investigated the killer, Michael Haight, "for a couple of years," suggesting possible earlier problems inside the home, though not gave more details.
The murders rocked the small town of Enoch, in southern Utah, between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. It's in one of the fastest growing areas of the country, and the new home communities are made up mostly of large families who belong, like most in Utah, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the mormon church.
The deceased were members of the faith and well known in the city. Many residents served in church alongside slain family members or went to school with the children, city officials said.
Police were dispatched to the home to check on the family after the wife, Tausha Haight, missed an appointment in the city and attempts to contact her failed, Enoch City Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut said. . Tausha Haight and one of her daughters had been seen at a church event Tuesday night. Many people knew the family because they shared a church or went to school with their children: a 4-year-old boy, a 7-year-old boy, a 7-year-old girl, a 12-year-old girl, and a 17-year-old girl.