LOCAL NEWS

Growing spotlight on domestic violence as we learn more about Haight family incident

Jan 18, 2023, 6:51 PM | Updated: 7:19 pm

ENOCH, Utah — Two weeks since the tragedy in Enoch, there’s a growing spotlight on domestic violence in the community and across the state.

“It’s been a mobilization of sorts for us to be like, ‘oh my goodness how did this happen in our community?’” Kait Sorensen said.

“How are you going to show up? How is the state of Utah going to show up?”

Sorensen is the executive director of Canyon Creek Services in Cedar City. She said they’ve been helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iron, Beaver and Garfield counties for years.

“This is the stuff that we’re doing constantly,” she said.

Since the Haight murders on January 4, she says the amount of people they’re supporting hasn’t changed, but she has seen a change in the conversation.

“People reaching out to say like, ‘I’m ready to support someone in my life who I maybe was like, ah that’s their private business,’” she said.

“We’ve seen a big change in that, which is wonderful. We need that support.”

It’s a difficult conversation to have as we learn more about what happened inside the Haight’s home in 2020, two years before police say Michael killed them.

Documents show the oldest child Macie reported her father had assaulted her multiple times, choking her at one point and shaking her at other times.

City Manager Rob Dotson sent a statement to KSL after its story aired Tuesday that said, “The Enoch City Police Department takes each report of child abuse and domestic violence seriously and thoroughly investigates each and every allegation reported.”

He said the Department of Child and Family Services gave the city information related to the allegations of abuse by Michael.

“Investigators conducted interviews with Macie Haight, Michael Haight, and Tausha Earl Haight, concerning the alleged child abuse. These interviews were conducted separately and in accordance with best practices where Macie Haight was interviewed separately at the Iron County Children’s Justice Center (“CJC”) by individuals with specialized training related to child abuse.”

Investigators reviewed the investigation with the Iron County Attorney’s office and “it was determined that this case did not meet all the elements required by statute for prosecution.”

“I don’t know if we could have in this situation, but so often, we know that we can predict and prevent so many of these tragedies if only we have the political will to do it,” said Erin Jameson, policy director at the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition.

The coalition is supporting a bill to require police departments to conduct a lethality assessment (LAP), an 11-question survey designed to determine the risk of that person being killed by someone in their home.

Right now, only some police departments use LAP.

Dotson said that a lethality assessment was completed with Tausha Haight and “Her responses to the lethality assessment did not indicate a lethal relationship. However, victim services were made available to Tausha and her family for several months.”

Sorenson spoke to KSL before the release of new information surrounding the 2020 abuse allegations and was not asked to comment on them. But she hopes the conversation on domestic violence continues and will help lead to lasting change in the community.

“I would just encourage even if it gets raw and hard, keep going. Keep moving through it. Keep having those conversations because I think our families, our communities, our friends, our partners, they’re worth it.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Gov. Cox in D.C....

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Governors don’t have ‘luxury of partisan posturing,’ Cox says during White House briefing

As state leaders, governors don't have the "luxury of partisan posturing" and must instead work to balance budgets and fix infrastructure, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said during a press briefing at the White House in Washington on Friday.

25 minutes ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Eliza Pace

Kevin Bacon to come to Utah for Lehi Round-Up concert

Lehi City announced a familiar face would be returning to Lehi for the Round-Up concert this June: Kevin Bacon of  "Footloose."

31 minutes ago

Michaun Torgersen and Ashley Hone talk to KSL TV about repurposing wedding dresses. (KSL TV)...

Eliza Pace

‘This means a lot to me’: Utah woman repurposes wedding dresses for burial outfits for babies

A Spanish Fork woman is using wedding dresses for a special project. Michaun Torgersen takes donated dresses and makes beautiful burial clothing for stillborn or miscarried babies.

1 hour ago

Lehi Ronald McDonald room...

Karah Brackin

Get sneak Peak inside Lehi Ronald McDonald Family Room

On Friday morning, KSL-TV got an exclusive look at the new Ronald McDonald Family Room at the Primary Children’s Hospital in Lehi.

1 hour ago

Casey Scott gives away gas cards on Feb. 23, 2024. (KSL TV)...

Casey Scott

Casey Scott surprises drivers with free gas cards on Friday

Casey Scott is back from vacation and ready to finish the week strong with some gas card giveaways!

3 hours ago

Fewer than two in five people in the US have gotten the flu vaccine this season, according to CDC e...

Kiersten Nunez

Utah faces unusual flu season with third pediatric death

The latest update from Utah Department of Health shows a third child has succumbed to influenza during the current season. Health experts are raising concerns over the unusual patterns the state is seeing this year.

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Growing spotlight on domestic violence as we learn more about Haight family incident