The 42-year-old father killed 7 family members which included his children aged from 4 to 17.
Trigger Warning: The following article contains descriptions of child abuse, gun violence, and death by suicide which readers may find distressing.
A Utah father killed his wife, mother-in-law, and 5 children in a shocking murder-suicide. According to officials, Michael Haight, 42 turned the gun on his seven family members and then on himself. The family members included his wife of 20 years Tausha Haight, 40, her mother, Gail Earl, 78, and the five children he shared with Tausha. They were three daughters, ages 17, 12, and 7, and two sons, ages 7 and 4. On January 4, police discovered their bodies inside an Enoch City, Utah home after conducting a welfare check on the family.
The man was reported to be violent as far back as 2017. His daughter who was 14 at the time told investigators that he would choke and shake her. TODAY reports local police and prosecutors decided not to criminally charge him despite child abuse allegations. A non-family member reported potential child abuse on Aug. 27, 2020. A little over two years later, Michael Haight ended up killing his entire family.
Authorities said they were aware of previous problems in the home but didn’t elaborate, citing an ongoing investigation. They did not immediately answer questions as to why criminal charges were not pursued.https://t.co/lXtEi5mHd8— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 18, 2023
According to PEOPLE, the man's wife filed for divorce just two weeks before the killings but Enoch Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut said it was too early for investigators to determine if that was a motive in their deaths.
An obituary for Michael has received widespread criticism after screenshots were shared by Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action. The now private obituary made no mention of the family members who died but listed an array of the alleged murderer's accomplishments.
Obituary for the Utah man who fatally shot his five children, mother-in-law and estranged wife: “Michael made it a point to spend quality time with each and every one of his children. Michael enjoyed making memories with the family.” https://t.co/p412A5qZSC— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 14, 2023
According to New York Post, the obituary spoke of Michael's youth, schooling, and career at an insurance company. It stated that he married his wife on May 10, 2003, and they "welcomed 5 children into their family." It added that "each of these children were truly a cherished miracle to them."
Calling him a family man who enjoyed "making memories with the family" it said he "lived a life of service," including serving in the church and on a mission in Brazil for The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints." It is unclear who wrote the obituary which also made a mention of the fact that he "recently sold his business to allow more flexibility to spend time with his family."
He had just “left” his job this week prior… Utah father Michael Haight kills wife, 5 kids in murder-suicide after wife files for divorce - New York Post https://t.co/3NBPwmjQMC— porcelainballet (@porcelainballet) January 10, 2023
A GoFundMe page set up by Tausha Haight’s siblings features a photo of the mother and five children. Michael was replaced with Jesus in a family photo. The page shared, "There are no words to describe the heartache we feel. They will be missed immensely by their family, friends, neighbors, classmates and community. The funds will go towards any funeral expenses if needed, legal fees, and a memorial fund in honor of Tausha’s children."
The fundraiser, which doesn’t mention Haight, raised over $100,000 at the time of this publication. "Her greatest desire in life was to be a mother and raise children that exemplified Christ's attributes," an obituary for Tausha read. "She was an incredible mother who constantly sacrificed everything for her children."
Cover Image Source: YouTube | KTLA 5