LOCAL NEWS

Candlelight vigil ends emotional day of remembrance, prayer for Enoch family

Jan 13, 2023, 10:03 PM | Updated: Jan 14, 2023, 3:12 pm

ENOCH, Utah — The Enoch community capped off an emotional day of remembering the Haight family with a vigil on Friday, hours after family and friends said goodbye to Gail Earl, Tausha Haight, and her five children.

“In our community we are strong and we are here for each other,” said Kait Sorenson, executive director of Canyon Creek Services.

The nonprofit joined the Enoch Police Department and the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition in sponsoring the vigil that included writing messages to family members of the Haight family.

Lt. Governor Deirdre Henderson was among a handful of speakers to address the dozens of community members who huddled together.

“We love you. We see you. We mourn with you,” Henderson said. “Thank you for loving each other. Thank you for setting the example of how to love your neighbor.”

Vigil organizers also recognized the community’s resilience over the last several days and their ability to reach out and lift one another even in their time of need. They also urged them to seek help if needed and to be a part of the solution for ending domestic violence.

“We are not afraid of coming together and feeling what we are feeling and we are not afraid to reach out to those we love most and make sure just how much we love them,” Sorenson said.

“Please make sure you tell somebody close to you how much you love them.”

Earlier in the day and 45 miles south of Enoch, hundreds gathered in La Verkin, where Gail Earl is from and where Tausha Haight grew up.

There more than 830 people crowded into a chapel belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to remember and say goodbye to Gail and Tausha and each of her five children.

“Any and all who offered prayers of comfort and support, we want you to know we felt them and they have sustained us and supported us,” Brett Earl said.

Brett is Gail’s son and Tausha’s brother and one of six from their family to address the large audience during funeral services.

Seven caskets sat at the front of the chapel with flower arrangements and a picture of each person, from four-year-old Gavin who “gave the best hugs” to his seven-year-old siblings Ammon and Sienna who were preparing to be baptized. To Brylee who loved books and music. And the oldest child who was getting ready to graduate high school and attend SUU.

Tausha’s siblings remembered her as an incredible mother who constantly sacrificed for her children.

They said their mother Gail had orchestrated this funeral, giving each of her children their own topic, each one a gospel lesson she had taught them growing up.

“I know you are eager to discover the story,” Brett said to the media after the funeral.

“Certainly there is a story of two families hurt and broken through unthinkable tragedy.”

But he said this is also a story of “these families being able to find peace, comfort, and solace through the beauty of the knowledge of God’s plan of salvation.”

In a prepared family statement, Brett urged those still hurting to seek help and to lift others. He also said that the Earl family had found the most help navigating this tragedy through their beliefs in God and Jesus Christ.

“Only a tender and merciful and loving Heavenly Father and God can take this tragedy that has touched us so deeply and reach deep inside each of us and turn it into a miracle of healing, growth, and progression,” he said. “That is the miracle we hope each of you find in your quest to move forward from this tragedy.”

The events to remember the family and support the community were expected to continue through the weekend.

The nonprofit Friends of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office said it had collected thousands of dollars in donations and planned to hold a raffle event the following day. All proceeds will go to the family and to help first responders and the community heal.

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Candlelight vigil ends emotional day of remembrance, prayer for Enoch family