The final report on the investigation of a shocking murder in southern Utah earlier this year describes him as a man obsessed with maintaining a perfect public image, according to notes from the father’s friends and neighbors at the hands of the Iron County family.
The police investigation report, released on Friday by Officer Enoch, includes a timeline leading up to the actions of Michael Haight, which resulted in the killings and the suicide note left behind at the crime scene. The report also includes the evidence collected from Haight’s home when the officers entered.
On January 4th, the rural community of Southern Utah was shaken after 42-year-old Haight shot and killed seven members of his own family at their home on 4923 N. Albert Drive.
Among the victims were Ammon, aged 7, and Gavin, aged 4, who were his two sons. Additionally, Sienna, aged 7, and Briley, aged 12, were his three daughters. Gail Earl, who was 78 years old, was Haight’s mother, while Tausha Haight, aged 40, was his wife.
Footage from a body-worn camera
On Friday, the police released the first video footage showing officers entering the garage of the Haight family’s house after attempting to perform a welfare check earlier. The officers had walked through the side door of the house, after a concerned neighbor had called the police to report that Tausha Haight, who had an appointment, did not appear inside when they entered the home.
Officers entered the master bedroom on the main floor and discovered Gavin’s lifeless body on the ground. In the same room, Tausha Height and Gail Earl’s bodies were found on the bed. In their respective bedrooms, Sienna, Ammon, Briley, and Macie’s bodies were individually located. The report mentioned that certain children were resting in their beds.
Each family member died from a gunshot wound to the head, and some had been shot multiple times, according to the report.
According to the report, there was a handwritten note indicating suicide alongside his remains, as well as a firearm positioned between his thighs. Michael Haight’s body was discovered atop a sleeping bag within a basement chamber containing workout apparatus.
In the letter, he referred to himself as an “upstanding gentleman” and placed the blame for their family issues on his wife.
Haight expressed in the message, “I would prefer to decay in hell than endure another day of this manipulation and domination over me.” “I am unable to tolerate it for any longer, this is absurd. We will not be a strain on society. You refused to listen, and I continuously sought assistance.”
Officers from Enoch, Cedar City, and the Iron County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene in response. The Enoch officers, as mentioned in the report, were familiar with the family. According to the body camera footage, it was emphasized that everything at the crime scene should remain undisturbed.
Evidence collected from the center console of a Chevrolet pickup truck included ammunition, a computer, tablets, phones, and bullet fragments.
Reputation was ‘paramount’ important to Michael Haight
The report highlights recent problems at Michael Haight’s employment in an insurance firm.
In December, around two weeks before the murder-suicide, Michael attempted to call Haight Michael when he was redirected to a call center and was informed that Allstate is no longer affiliated. This happened after one of his clients at Allstate Insurance Company told him.
Michael Haight was recently terminated from Allstate and was in the midst of establishing his own insurance firm. Numerous other acquaintances and residents mentioned that Tausha Haight informed her lawyer that her spouse had divested his Allstate enterprise.
As per the report, an acquaintance of the individual mentioned that he had requested him to endorse a confidentiality contract regarding the revelation that he had been terminated from Allstate due to “irregularities in his financial records.”
The report mentioned that during an interview after the deaths, an acquaintance said, “In every aspect, his appearance was very suspicious and he would not portray anything, both personally and professionally, a perfect life.”
That was a topic that came up in multiple interviews police conducted with friends and neighbors of the Haights.
According to the report, his mistreatment was beginning to expand to his offspring, and she had shared with her neighbor who often spent time with Tausha Haight that Michael Haight was “highly anxious” about maintaining a facade and had been unkind to her “for an extended period.”
Tausha Haight, the daughter of Michael Haight, had inherited several guns from her father, including at least one handgun and some hunting rifles. The neighbor mentioned that there were several guns in Tausha’s possession. Additionally, Tausha had approximately $20,000 in savings accounts, as mentioned by her neighbor. The neighbor also informed the police that Tausha had mentioned having a child.
The report states that they would say anything negative about him, and that he always tried to control the children and Tausha, with whom he interacted during the event. The report says that.
Some neighbors told the police that Haight Tausha was worried because her husband was monitoring her texts or there were listening devices in the house.
Plan for withdrawing or ending involvement
As per the report, “not a single child displayed any reaction or replied when this occurred. Tausha mentioned that in that very moment, she decided firmly that she would devise an escape plan and proceed with the divorce.” Following his verbal abuse towards his wife and kids, she mentioned that she realized her husband got up and began shouting when one of her children refused to stop playing with a charging cable. Several months before the tragic killings, Tausha Haight confided in a friend about an episode.
Tausha said that her friend, Haight, found the phone soon before Christmas. Haight reported that Tausha’s father, who was getting divorced from her mother, was very excited. Macie was also excited because she wouldn’t have to spend much time with her father. In an interview, a friend of Macie’s said that her father would act “crazy” and record evidence to help her parents’ divorce. The friend also revealed that the child had a secret phone hidden in her room.
Tausha, the house mother, took care of the children while she stayed at home. Later, he told her to leave with the children and before they left, he informed her that he would be leaving their home. She asked him if he had received the papers and also inquired about her day, wondering how it was. Michael texted her later that same day, asking for the report notes that he had received. In December 2022, Tausha’s attorney served Michael with divorce papers.
As per the report, acquaintances informed the police that he “was furious because his reputation was going to be challenged as he was not seated alongside his family.” Tausha Haight denied her separated spouse the opportunity to sit with her and the kids during their church visit the following day. She and the children came back home on Saturday evening.
The police noted that Michael Haight, the mother’s boyfriend, has been refusing to leave the home, raising concerns about the safety of the family due to the recent murders. According to the police, Tausha Earl, the mother of Haight, appeared to have been staying with her family during this time. The police stated that Michael seemed to have been sleeping in the workout room, while all his clothing was piled up on the couch outside the room. Additionally, there was a pillow and a sleeping bag in the room, suggesting that he had been sleeping in the basement.
According to the report, she mentioned, “Michael occasionally raises his voice towards her and the kids, but he would never cause any physical harm to any of them.” The attorney inquired if she had any worries about their well-being. In response, she informed the attorney that her spouse was still residing in the residence, had “relocated” to the basement, and had no intentions of departing. Tausha Haight’s lawyer, who drafted the divorce documents, stated that he met with her on Jan. 3 and described her demeanor as “content.”
What’s even more astonishing is that Michael Haight was the one who committed the offenses, and certain locals and acquaintances of the Haights have claimed that they didn’t notice any warning signs despite Tausha Haight recently starting the divorce process.
Enoch City Manager Rob Dotson stated in a release accompanying the conclusive investigation report on Friday, “we encourage the media and the general public to abstain from attempting to fill in the gaps with their own ideas” as the sequence of occurrences in the materials cannot completely depict the intricacy of the individual sentiments and thoughts of those directly implicated. The particulars in the disclosed information are the outcomes of the committed and enthusiastic investigators who labored assiduously over the previous three months to uncover the events preceding the calamity.
“Dotson expressed that all of us deeply join in with the family and friends of the victims to offer our condolences and are saddened by this tragic incident.”
“Dotson expressed that each constructive deed generates a wave of benevolence towards our collective conviction in the magnificence of mankind. Our society values the regard of the proficient press, the sentiments and supplications of compassionate individuals worldwide, and the assistance that has been offered.”
Mental wellness resources for individuals impacted by the Haight catastrophe can be accessed via the Enoch Community Trauma Recovery organization.