The family reportedly was having a difficult time for some time now, and the man's mom-in-law was staying with the family to support them through this period.
Trigger Warning: The following article mentions gun violence and death by suicide which some readers may find distressing.
Two weeks after his wife filed for divorce, a Utah man shot and killed his wife, his mother-in-law, his five children, and himself. According to authorities, Michael Haight, 42 killed his wife Tausha Haight, 40, his mother-in-law Gail Earl, 78, and the couple's five children, Associated Press reported.
The three girls and two boys, whose ages varied from 4 to 17, including twins who were 7 years old. Michael married Tausha Earl in 2003 at a small church wedding. He was raised in Cedar City, and she was from Overton, Nevada, which is roughly two hours south. Michael pursued a career in insurance as an adult. The family reportedly was having a difficult time for some time now, and Gail was reportedly staying with the family to support them through this period.
Tausha filed for divorce on December 21, according to court records. Michael had received the documents on December 27, according to her lawyer's statement on Thursday. Tausha's divorce attorney, James Park, claimed she didn't express any concern that her husband would physically harm her. Park chose not to go into further detail, citing the ongoing homicide investigation. Tausha, with whom he had only two meetings, the most recent of which was on Tuesday, he claimed, “was an incredibly nice lady.”
According to Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut, investigators were aware of the divorce petition but were unsure if it was the cause of the murders. A little community called Enoch in southern Utah, midway between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas was rocked by the murders.
The deceased were well-known local figures who belonged to the faith. Many locals attended school with the kids or served in the church with the deceased family members. “This is a tremendous blow to many families who have spent many nights with these individuals who are now gone,” Chesnut said.
“If I could shed any light at all about Tausha, it’s that she was everybody’s friend and she made everybody feel like they were her only friend,” Tina Brown, Tausha's friend said to KSL-TV. “I don’t know how anyone can make any sense of this,” she said, adding that she wanted to stop focussing on the darkness and instead “talk about the light.”
“She wanted everyone around her to be better. That was just her. You could pick up your phone and text her or call her or knock on her door, and she was always there,” Brown said with a laugh. Even Tausha's children, Brown shared, were the same way. They apparently organized a moving away party for a family that was about to go away. “She is going to be missed. There’s no doubt,” she said. “But I think we can honor her by living the way she lived.”
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Tausha Haight