A glowing obituary for a Utah man who allegedly killed his entire family in a murder-suicide plot said he “made it a point to spend quality time with each and every one of his children” — as an online fundraiser bizarrely replaces him with an image of Jesus in a family photo.
Police believe Michael Haight, 42, gunned down his wife, Tausha Haight, 40, their three daughters, ages 17, 12 and 7, and two sons, ages 7 and 4, on Jan. 4 — two weeks after she had filed for divorce, officials said.
Also killed in the Enoch City massacre was his mother-in-law, Gail Earl, 78.
But an obit published in The Spectrum did not mention the killings and painted an angelic picture of the shooter, saying he “excelled at everything he did” after graduating from high school in 1998 as a “Sterling scholar in business.”
“He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout,” the tone-deaf piece said.
“Michael spent the summer after graduation working in Alaska in a fish processing plant. His leadership skills, values of honest hard work and determination quickly led him to be a line manager and over a crew of 10-12 men,” it said.
“Michael was called and served a full-time mission to Porto Alegre South, Brazil for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,” the obit continued.
Haight was said to have met his future wife during their time at Southern Utah University, where he was named the Outstanding Finance Student.
“They were married in the St. George Temple on May 10, 2003. Together they welcomed 5 children into their family: Macie Lynn, Briley Ann, Ammon Michael, Sienna Belle, and Gavin Drew,” the obit said.
“Each of these children were truly a cherished miracle to them,” it added. “Michael made it a point to spend quality time with each and every one of his children. Michael enjoyed making memories with the family.”
It also said that the dad “lived a life of service.”
“Whether it was serving in the church or in the community, he was willing to help with whatever was needed,” the obit read.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account set up by the family bizarrely replaced Haight with Jesus in a family photo.
The fundraiser, which doesn’t mention Haight, had raised almost $95,000 by Monday morning.
“Their lives were tragically taken too soon. All who knew them loved them so very much,” the page reads, adding that the donations will go towards funeral expenses and a memorial fund in honor of the five kids.
Shannon Watts, an activist against gun violence and founder of Moms Demand Action, condemned the fawning obit and shared a link to it on Twitter — while pointing out that “none of the obituary comments mention the victims.”
The activist also shared a link to the family’s statement, which supported owning firearms.
“And if that’s not gross enough, the wife’s family put out a statement supporting … guns: ‘This is the type of loss that will continue to occur in families, communities and this nation when protective arms are no longer accessible,’” Watts seethed.
The eyebrow-raising obit published by the mortuary was later made private.
Enoch Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut said police were still investigating the motive for the murder-sucide, but that they were aware that court records showed Tausha filed for divorce on Dec. 21, Insider reported.
Tausha’s sister-in-law, Jennie Earl, told The Associated Press that Michael had removed all guns from the home before the shootings.
She said the lack of access to firearms left Tausha Haight, her mother and her children more “vulnerable.”
Police said they had investigated Michael before, suggesting previous problems inside the household.