An obituary for a Utah man who allegedly murdered his entire family in a murder-suicide scheme stated that he “made it a point to spend quality time with each and every one of his children,” while an online fundraiser inexplicably replaces him in a family photo with an image of Jesus.
Michael Haight, 42, is believed to have murdered his wife, Tausha Haight, 40, their three daughters, aged 17, 12, and 7, and two sons, ages 7 and 4, on January 4 — two weeks after she filed for divorce, according to police.
During the Enoch City massacre, his 78-year-old mother-in-law, Gail Earl, was also killed.
An obituary published in The Spectrum, however, did not mention the murders and instead created an angelic portrait of the gunman, stating that he “excelled at everything he did” after graduating high school in 1998 as a “Sterling scholar in business.”
The insensitive piece stated, “He attained the Eagle Scout rank.”
“After graduating, Michael spent the summer in Alaska working in a fish processing business. It stated that his leadership qualities, values of honest hard work, and dedication swiftly elevated him to the position of line manager over a crew of 10 to 12 men.
Haight allegedly met his future wife at Southern Utah University, where he was recognized as the Outstanding Finance Student.
Michael made it a priority to spend meaningful time with each of his children, according to his obituary.
“On May 10, 2003, they were married in the St. George Temple. According to the obituary, the couple had five children: Macie Lynn, Briley Ann, Ammon Michael, Sienna Belle, and Gavin Drew.
“Each of these children was a treasured miracle to them,” the report continued. Michael made it a priority to spend quality time with all of his children. Michael delighted in creating memories with his family.
The obituary stated, “Whether serving in the church or the community, he was willing to help with whatever was required.”
Meanwhile, a family GoFundMe account oddly substituted Haight in a family photo with Jesus.
By Monday morning, the fundraiser, which does not mention Haight, had raised about $95,000.
Their lives were sadly cut horribly short. All who knew them adored them,” the page states, adding that the funds would be used to cover funeral costs and establish a memorial fund in their honor.
Shannon Watts, an anti-gun violence activist and the founder of Moms Demand Action, blasted the laudatory obituary and tweeted a link to it, noting that “none of the obituary comments mention the victims.”
The activist also provided a link to the family’s pro-gun ownership stance.
“As if that weren’t disgusting enough, the wife’s family issued a pro-gun statement: ‘This is the type of loss that will continue to occur in families, communities, and this nation when protective arms are no longer available.’” Watts was fuming.
The controversial obituary released by the funeral home was later made private.
Mayor of Enoch Geoffrey Chesnut stated that police were still investigating the cause for the murder-suicide, but that they were aware that Tausha filed for divorce on December 21, according to Insider.
Jennie Earl, the sister-in-law of Tausha, informed The Associated Press that Michael had removed all firearms from the residence prior to the shootings.
She stated that the lack of access to firearms increased the “vulnerability” of Tausha Haight, her mother, and her children.
The police stated that they had previously investigated Michael, indicating that there had been past domestic issues.