Nearly 1,000 mourn Utah murder-suicide victims

Nearly 1,000 mourn Utah murder-suicide victims

Nearly 1,000 people gathered in southern Utah for the funeral for the seven victims massacred earlier this month in what was believed to be a murder-suicide. 

Hundreds of friends and family members flooded a meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the town of La Verkin, on Friday, according to local reports. There, they shared their pain and fond memories of Tausha Haight, 40, her mother, Gail Earl, 78, and Haight’s five children — Macie, Briley, Sienna, Ammon, and Gavin, whose ages ranged from 4 to 17.

“I stand before you hurt, wounded and raw,” said Gail’s daughter, Stacha Earl Westbrook, who is also the sister of Tausha and the children’s aunt, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Caskets of Tausha Haight and her five children
Family members shared their pain and fond memories of their late relatives.

On Jan. 4, the family was found shot dead inside their home in Enoch, an 8,000-person town roughly 250 miles south of Salt Lake City.  Police believe that the children’s father and Haight’s husband, Michael Haight, 42, gunned them down before shooting himself—just two weeks after his wife had filed for divorce. 

Family members said that Michael Haight had removed guns from the household before the shooting, while police said that they had investigated him before, suggesting prior problems inside the household.

Michael’s name was not mentioned during the services, with Gail Earl’s children instead recalling how the victims were all part of a loving family, according to reports

Aerial shot of the graveside service for the Earl-Haight funeral
Michael Haight’s name was not mentioned at the funeral services for the family members he allegedly shot dead.

Earl’s family shared how their mother baked perfect bread every week and instilled the gospel in her children, while their sister was a devoted woman, both to her children and to her community.

“Nothing meant more to Mom and Tausha than family,” said Brett Earl, Tausha’s brother, KSL-TV reported.

Family members recalled how Macie, 17, was funny and bound for Southern Utah University, while 12-year-old Briley loved to read books and played the piano.

Photo of the Haight family
Michael Haight allegedly shot his wife, five children and mother-in-law just weeks after his spouse filed for divorce.
Tausha Haighit/Facebook

Kandace Earl Booth said Sienna Haight, 7, also had a love of literature and was always sharing recommendations for what others should read. Her twin brother, Ammon, meanwhile, was a fan of trains and playing with Legos, having just completed the complicated Titanic Lego set over Christmas.

Booth also shared how Gavin, 4, loved giving family members hugs and making art. 

“His middle name is Drew,” said Booth, according to to KUTV, “and boy, did he!”

A group of young people walk away following the graveside services.
A group of young people walk away following the graveside services.

Terry Earl, Tausha’s brother, said that the family’s faith has helped them all endure their suffering this past week.

“In our deep sorrow, Christ has comforted our hearts and has given us peace beyond any of our capacities,” he said.

With Post wires. 

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