Utah Man Kills Wife, Five Children and Mother-in-Law, Police Say

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A 42-year-old man fatally shot his wife, their five children and his mother-in-law inside their home in rural Utah before he shot and killed himself, officials said on Thursday.

Police officers discovered the eight bodies inside the home in Enoch City, nearly 250 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, while conducting a “welfare check” on Wednesday, officials said.

Concerned friends and family members had contacted the police after not hearing from the victims, officials said.

Enoch City officials said in a statement on Thursday that the evidence suggests that Michael Haight, 42, shot and killed the seven other members of his family and then killed himself.

The seven victims were identified as Mr. Haight’s wife, Tausha Haight, 40; their five children, who were not named — a 17-year-old girl, a 12-year-old girl, a 7-year-old girl, a 7-year-old boy and a 4-year-old boy — and Ms. Haight’s mother, Gail Earl, 78.

“While this intense investigation is ongoing, investigators currently believe there are no suspects outstanding,” the statement said.

Rob Dotson, the city manager, said on Wednesday night that the authorities did not have any information about a motive.

“We don’t know why this happened, and we’re not going to guess,” Mr. Dotson said in a video statement released to the news media on Wednesday evening.

“This community is feeling remorse, feeling pain,” Mr. Dotson added. “There are friends and neighbors and family members who are hurting because of this incident.”

Neighbors described Enoch City, which has about 8,000 residents, as a tightknit community where homes rarely go up for sale, ensuring that everyone knows one another and making the killings even more shocking. The residential area where police found the victims is often filled with children playing in yards and neighbors who wave hello and volunteer to help one another shovel snow.

Richard Jensen, a city councilman, said he had spent the night crying on and off, after learning about the shooting. He pulled himself together to tell his 11-year-old son about what had happened so he didn’t have to learn about it in school.

“This was a respected community member and church leader, and it is sending shock waves,” Mr. Jensen said in an interview.

In a statement posted to its website on Wednesday, the Iron County School District in Cedar City, Utah, said that the five children were all students there. The loss was certain to raise “emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school district, especially our students,” school officials said.

Aaron Diamond, a resident of Enoch City, said that he knew those killed well, because they attended the same church as him. “They were just a wonderful, wonderful family,” he said, adding that the father had worked for an insurance company.

“We’re all just shocked and heartbroken,” Mr. Diamond said. “The people who live here love their neighbors.”

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