The Michael Haight murder-suicide, which left his wife, mother-in-law, five kids, and himself dead, has rocked the Enoch community – who mostly described the household as a loving family. Their bodies were found inside the family’s home during a welfare check conducted by the Enoch Police Department.
During a press conference earlier this month, authorities confirmed they were aware of previous issues inside the home, but didn’t elaborate on what those problems were. Thanks to police records obtained by The Associated Press, the community is gaining some clarity on an investigation they conducted in 2020.
According to the records, Michael Haight was investigated for child abuse after a non-family member provided an initial cause for concern. Macie Haight, his eldest daughter, then accused him of assault, which included choking her, shaking her, and banging her head against a wooden part of the couch.
At one point during the investigation, Macie told police she was “very afraid that he was going to keep her from breathing and kill her” during one of his episodes. She confirmed the violence began in 2017 and continued for several years leading up to the investigation. We’re unsure if it continued beyond 2020.
At the time, Michael Haight denied any violence or abuse towards his daughter and labeled the incident a ‘misunderstanding’ when talking to investigators in 2020. He also denied allegations of abuse towards his wife, Tausha Haight, though he did admit to surveilling her text messages over personal insecurities.
Despite the investigation and alleged abuse, Tausha asked the Enoch Police not to charge her husband – instead, she was hoping the incident would act as a wake-up call and result in changed behavior. In response, the Enoch Police – along with Iron County Attorney – decided against criminal charges.
The family hasn’t been investigated since then, so authorities are still trying to piece together what happened in the two years that passed. What we do know is that Michael Haight shot his five children, wife, and mother-in-law before turning the gun on himself – leaving the small town of Enoch shaken.
Why Wasn’t Michael Haight Charged in 2020?
The police records raise an important question that the community is eagerly waiting for an answer – why wasn’t Michael Haight charged in 2020? While Enoch Police have mentioned the past investigation, they have yet to elaborate on their findings and yet to provide a reason for Haight not being criminally charged.
With that said, the office of Iron County Attorney released a statement on Tuesday that offers a little bit of clarity – from their perspective, at least. The statement confirms they were called in 2020 regarding the investigation, but ultimately decided there was insufficient evidence to move forward with any charges.
“Although specifics are not articulated, this conclusion was likely based on an inability to prove each element of the offense(s) beyond reasonable doubt and/or statute of limitations barriers,” wrote the office of Iron County Attorney – they also cited a lack of police records or transcripts for them to review further.
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According to The Associated Press, family mass killings have become commonplace in the United States – with such incidents occurring about once per month. Considering the warning signs that were seen leading up to the Michael Haight murder-suicide, it’s important to reach out for help whenever needed.
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