Utah man accused of killing his family, Obit says he ‘cherishes’ his children

Utah man accused of killing his family, Obit says he ‘cherishes’ his children

Utah man accused of killing his family, Obit says he ‘cherishes’ his children

  • Utah officials say Michael Haight killed his wife, Tausha, and their children in a murder-suicide.
  • His obituary says he “lived a life of service” and “enjoyed making memories with family.”
  • Tausha Haight’s obituary said she “constantly sacrificed everything for her children”.

The obituary of a Utah man who police have accused of killing his entire family in a murder-suicide says he ‘made a point of spending quality time with each of his children and that they were a “darling miracle”. to him and his wife.

Authorities in Enoch, Utah, said they believe Michael Haight, 42, killed his wife, Tausha Haight, 40, their five children and his stepmother, Gail Earl, 78, who was staying with the family at the time. All eight were found dead with gunshot wounds at their home in southern Utah on January 4. The children, including three girls and two boys, ranged in age from 4 to 17.

Enoch Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut said police are still investigating the motive for the murders, but they know court records show Tausha Haight filed for divorce on December 21.

Mass murders by family members are twice as common as those involving strangers, USA Today reported. In 2022, 17 family mass murders took place in the United States, according to a database compiled by the outlet, which defined mass murder as four or more victims, excluding the perpetrator.

An obituary by Michael Haight, published this week in local newspaper The Spectrum, did not mention the murders.

The obituary described his life like any other obituary, saying that he “excelled in everything he did” and that he had gone on a mission to Brazil for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those killed were also Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as Mormons outside the church.

The obituary says he married Tausha in 2003 and together they “welcomed 5 children into their family”, all named. He said he “enjoys making memories with the family” and “lives a life of service” including coaching his children’s teams and going to their school concerts.

The obituary, which stated that his funeral would be held in private, drew some criticism, including from Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action and one of America’s foremost gun violence activists. Watts shared a link to the obituary on Twitter, along with a quote from it.

“And if that’s not rude enough, the wife’s family released a statement supporting … guns,” she said, referring to a statement made by Tausha Haight’s family in which they warned anyone against using the killings to advance a political agenda.

Tausha Haight’s sister-in-law, Jennie Earl, told The Associated Press that Michael Haight removed all weapons from the home before the alleged murders. Earl said the lack of access to firearms made Tausha Haight, her mother and her children more “vulnerable”.

“Protective weapons were deliberately removed from the home prior to the incident because all adults were properly trained to protect human life,” the Earl family said in the statement. “This is the type of loss that will continue to occur in families, communities and this nation when the weapons of protection are no longer accessible.”

A lone person stands in front of six of the seven Haight family caskets on January 13, 2023 in La Verkin, Utah.

A lone person stands in front of six of the seven Haight family caskets on January 13, 2023 in La Verkin, Utah.

George Frey/Getty Images

Watts, who did not respond to Insider’s request for comment, also said that none of the comments on the obituary published by the morgue – which has since gone private – mentioned Tausha Haight or her children: “None of the obituaries mention the victims.”

An obituary for Tausha Haight was also released which included a section dedicated to each of her five children. A GoFundMe has been launched to raise money for funeral expenses and a memorial fund.

“Her greatest desire in life was to be a mother and raise children who exemplify the attributes of Christ,” the obituary said. “She was an incredible mother who constantly sacrificed everything for her children. They were truly the most precious possession she owned.”

Do you have a topical tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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