LOCAL NEWS

Police release investigation report, body cam footage of Utah family murders

Apr 7, 2023, 9:11 PM | Updated: Apr 8, 2023, 2:58 pm

ENOCH, Utah — Investigators have released the full 57 page report into the deaths of three adults and five children in what police say was a mass-family killing and then a death by suicide on Jan. 4.

The report also contains body camera footage from officers who entered the family home after they were alerted by community members there were people dead inside. The media-released footage blocks out the bodies of victims as police discover them in bedrooms throughout the home and check it for a possible active shooter. The report says some of the officers knew family well and when the suspect’s body is found, the discovering officer identifies him by name.

Killed were Tausha Haight, her five children and her mother. Also dead was her estranged husband Michael Haight who seemed to be staying in the workout room in the basement of the family’s home after he had been served divorce papers on Dec. 27 2022.

Along with Tausha Haight, killed were her children Macie (17), Briley (12), twins Ammon and Sienna (7), Gavin (4) and Gail Earl 78, who, according to the report was staying in the house because of safety concerns.

Those concerns were heightened after the suspect declined to leave the home and then when firearms were removed from the home a day or two before the killings.

Michael Haight left a note that blames others for the events leading up to his deadly round of shootings, and declares that he would “rather rot in hell than put up with another day of this.”

The note also mentioned his frustration of efforts to create an “ideal” family. The investigation also notes multiple people reporting his focus on maintaining the appearance of a perfect family, even when they knew there was deep friction inside the home.

Funeral service announced for Haight family killed in Enoch, Utah home

The report also clarifies a timeline of events investigators felt were significant leading up to the murders at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 4. That included that gunshots possibly awakened and then were heard by a neighbor who believed at the time, they were fireworks.

The investigation notes family difficulties dating back 2020 with a recent report of abuse on Dec. 8, 2022 from a daughter. That report was believed to be an incident from a 2020 report that had already been investigated so didn’t get further attention.

Tausha Haight told trusted friends that as her husband’s mean actions became more focused on her children, she made a firm decision to divorce him and drew up divorce papers before Christmas but waited until after the holiday to have them delivered.

At least two of the children reported not liking the behavior of the suspect in the months before the killings. One daughter had a secret phone — confiscated by Tausha Haight — used to record her father when he would “act crazy.”

Another daughter wanted him out of the house. There were also texts to friends about safety concerns and a message of “HELP” to a friend but followed by conversation about mundane things.

A variety of people knew the Haight marriage was disintegrating and claimed the suspect would try to assert control. After divorce papers had been filed and after he had been fired from his job, he told Tausha Haight she was backing him into a corner.

More than one person interviewed by police said Tausha Haight feared her phone  or even her  home conversations were being monitored by the suspect. She would sometimes talk to people about her marriage troubles with sink water turned on and in hushed tones. She would send upbeat texts, that were different from private conversations with friends.

The suspect also left a trail of Google and other online searches about the noise of gunshots. In the final days before the killings, Tausha met with her attorney again about divorce and the suspect left unusual paperwork on his desk, as if for others to find.

Just after 11 a.m. on Jan. 4, a welfare check is requested to police. The home was checked and nobody answers the door. Phone calls and other efforts were made to contact family members. Just before 4 p.m. a neighbor entered the home through an unlocked door and reported to police there were bodies inside. Officers responded immediately.

KSL TV is choosing not to air most of the body camera footage and not detail parts of the report, including the note left by the suspect.


Domestic violence resources

If you or someone you know is going through abuse, help is available.

  • Utah Domestic Violence Coalition operates a confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465).
  • Resources are also available online at the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition website.

There are several ways the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition can help people. Previous examples include providing financial assistance for funerals, for moving, for a variety of things, counseling that help people find a different path or stay healthy and safe and the relationship they’re in.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage on Interstate 15, leading to multiple vehicles b...

Kiersten Nunez

Heat causes Interstate 15 buckling, damages multiple vehicles in Davis County

Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage on Interstate 15, leading to multiple vehicles being damaged due to buckling pavement and large chunks of concrete.

1 hour ago

An apartment went up in flames in West Valley City on July 14, 2024. (Scott Winterton, Deseret News...

Mark Jones

West Valley City apartment fire displaces 30 people; no injuries reported

A large fire has displaced 30 people following a West Valley City apartment fire on Sunday, according to the West Valley City Fire Department.

2 hours ago

Boyd Matheson follows the latest details after an attempted assassination was made on former Presid...

KSL TV

Sunday Edition: The attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump

Boyd Matheson sits down for a special episode of Sunday Edition following the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump.

5 hours ago

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall joins Sunday Edition to discuss the International Olympic Comm...

KSL TV

Sunday Edition: Mayor Erin Mendenhall

On the originally scheduled Sunday Edition, SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall joins the show to discuss the 2034 Olympics and downtown revitalization plans.

8 hours ago

On Saturday, the St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church formally opened its doors as the newest dedicated s...

Brittany Tait

Utah’s newest Greek Orthodox Church ready to welcome worshippers

On Saturday, the St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church formally opened its doors as the newest dedicated sacred space in the valley.  

21 hours ago

Crews in the Ashley National Forest are working to contain a fire on the Flaming Gorge Ranger Distr...

Mark Jones

The Speirs Fire is growing in size near Flaming Gorge

Crews in the Ashley National Forest are working to contain a fire on the Flaming Gorge Ranger District, south of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Police release investigation report, body cam footage of Utah family murders