Salt Lake Police Search For Motive In Murder-Suicide

Jan 28, 2019, 8:08 PM | Updated: 8:46 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Investigators with the Salt Lake Police Department have been looking into what motivated a man to kill his partner – a doctor completing her residency at the University of Utah – before ending his own life.

What neighbors thought sounded like an intrusion Sunday night, turned into a murder-suicide investigation inside the couple’s home on Ramona Avenue, near 1800 East.

Officials said 30-year-old Travis Geddes murdered 27-year-old Dr. Sarah Hawley before killing himself.

Dr. Hawley’s Bio on the University of Utah web site

Police have not yet released the cause of their deaths.

They said they have never responded to an issue between the two of them.

“I know sometimes people don’t report domestic violence because they’re afraid that may increase the violence, for whatever reason, but there are tons of resources available,” said Sergeant Brandon Shearer.

If you or someone you know are in a domestic violence situation help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All you have to do is call 1-800-897-LINK.

Neighbors we spoke said they were in disbelief.

“In hindsight, there aren’t really a whole lot of dots that connect. It doesn’t make sense in any way,” said Liam Armour, whose girlfriend lives in the apartment below Hawley and Geddes.

“Any time I’d pass it was just, ‘Howdy.’ He was always real friendly to me. Sarah was more quiet,” he said.

While Armour wasn’t at the home at the time, he was still trying to process what police have called murder-suicide, with Geddes as the suspect.

“We had heard some fighting, just verbal. Nothing more than my girlfriend and I might have a trip back from work or something, you know, and she doesn’t like the song I play. You know any standard little, you know, verbal squabble, you know. It was nothing that would ever would let me to believe this would be a result,” said Armour.

In a statement, the University of Utah said the California native loved her family and caring for others. They said the first-year resident was looking forward to exploring Utah.

“Anytime I had a small chance to speak with her. She was always really, really nice and I always got a good vibe from her,” said Armour.


Today, University of Utah mourns the tragic loss of one of our bright young family medicine residents, Sarah Hawley, MD. Dr. Hawley was a first-year resident who was focusing on continuing her studies in Family & Preventive Medicine.

“Dr. Hawley came to University of Utah Health from UC San Francisco to continue her passion of providing care to women and children in underserved communities, said Kolawole Okuyemi, MD, MPH, chair, Department of Family & Preventive Medicine. “Her adventurous spirit and love of learning will be missed by all those who knew her.”

“Our thoughts are with Dr. Hawley’s family, friends and co-workers, as well as all those in our community who are impacted by this senseless act of violence,” stated Michael Good, MD, CEO, University of Utah Health and Dean, University of Utah School of Medicine. “Her colleagues have shared Dr. Hawley always did a great job of connecting with her patients and understanding where they were coming from.  She treated the whole person, and patients were always appreciative of her approach. She was a promising young physician, and we mourn her loss and extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends.”

Brian Vukelic, MD, who was Dr. Hawley’s residency advisor, stated, “Sarah made it a priority to stay in touch with her family, constantly talking about them and always mentioning her love of family.  At the same time, she was excited about the opportunities Utah offered to her, particularly the ability to spend time doing all the outdoor activities she loved so much. Sarah was friendly, fantastic, and hardworking. She always gave everything her all.”

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Salt Lake Police Search For Motive In Murder-Suicide