A Mormon family — including five children — was found gunned down by the patriarch at their home in rural Utah on Tuesday. The child’s father then turned the gun on himself.
The bodies of Michael, 42, and Tausa Height, 40, their five children and Tausa’s mother Gail, 78, were found with gunshot wounds on Wednesday.
The children were identified as three daughters aged 17, 12 and 7 and two sons aged 7 and 4. Other family members have called police to her home for a welfare check. It was later revealed that the massacre occurred shortly after Tausha filed for divorce from her husband, KSL reported. Until last week, Michael was working as an insurance agent at Allstate.
Enoch City manager Rob Dotson said in a statement that Michael Height was the sole suspect in the crime. “While this in-depth investigation is ongoing, investigators currently believe that there are no suspects pending,” Dotson said. “There is evidence that the suspect killed seven other people in his home before taking his own life. The suspect is a 42-year-old Michael Hayter.”
Online records show Michael Haight worked as an insurance agent for Allstate and ran a financial services business from his home on North Albert Drive in Enoch.
Fox Salt Lake City reports that Michael recently quit his job at the insurance giant. The channel also noted that Tausha filed for divorce on Dec. 21.
At a news conference, Dotson said authorities entered the house around 4:00 p.m. Dotson said the alarm first sounded when Tausha failed to show up for an appointment. At the same news conference, the city’s mayor, Jeffrey Chestnut, said through tears that he was a neighbor of the Haight family and their children were playing in his yard.
Law enforcement knew the family, who had previously visited the house for unknown reasons, officials said. None of these visits are recent. Neighbors of the family told KSL they were active in the town’s Mormon community and described them as “very hospitable”.
Tausa (right) filed for divorce from husband Michael on December 21, it was revealed. Welfare checks are often done when neighbors raise concerns or when people haven’t seen each other for a long time. Tausa’s Facebook page is littered with photos of her family, most recently of her and her husband in June 2022.