Family of 8, including 5 children, found dead in Utah home with gunshot wounds

Police said they found the bodies while conducting a welfare check.

January 5, 2023, 2:54 AM

A family of eight people, including five children, were found dead with apparent gunshot wounds in a Utah home on Wednesday after police conducted a welfare check, according to the officials in Enoch City, Utah.

No suspects are at large, and there is no threat to the public according to a press release from Enoch City.

“We all know this family; many of us have served with them in church, and community, and gone to school with these individuals,” City Manager Rob Dobson said at a press conference. “And so this community at this time is hurting, they’re feeling loss, they are feeling pain, they have a lot of questions which is natural.”

PHOTO: Police tape surrounds the crime scene in Enoch, Utah, where eight members of a family were found from gunshot wounds, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023.
Police tape surrounds the crime scene in Enoch, Utah, where eight members of a family were found from gunshot wounds, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023.
Ben B. Braun/The Deseret News via AP

In a letter to parents, the Iron County School District confirmed that the five children in the home were students of the Iron County School District.

According to Dotson, the welfare check was called into the police department on Wednesday evening.

Dotson indicated that police are unaware of a motive at the moment. At the time of the press conference, police were actively searching the home. Law enforcement from Enoch City, Iron County, Cedar City are cooperating in the investigation, according to Dotson.

PHOTO: Police vehicles sit near an Enoch City, Utah, home were police say they found eight bodies on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023.
Police vehicles sit near an Enoch City, Utah, home were police say they found eight bodies on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023.
KTVX

Dotson said that the public could learn more about a possible motive within “a day or two or maybe longer.”

“The most important thing that we can say is that this community is feeling remorse, feeling pain,” he said. “There are friends and neighbors and family members who are hurting because of this incident.”

Enoch is a rural city with roughly 8,000 residents in the southwest corner of Utah near Zion National Park. About 250 miles from Salt Lake City, the city is closer to Las Vegas than the Utah capital.

The small city is mourning the loss of these residents according to Dotson. Visibly choking up during the conference, Dotson said he appreciated the prayers from across the county for the family.

PHOTO: A law enforcement official stands at the front door of the Enoch, Utah, home where eight family members were found dead from gunshot wounds, Jan. 4, 2023.
A law enforcement official stands at the front door of the Enoch, Utah, home where eight family members were found dead from gunshot wounds, Jan. 4, 2023.
Ben B. Brown/The Deseret News via AP

“We are getting word from across the nation about how much people care for each other, and it is overwhelming and appreciated.”

Learning of the tragedy, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted, “Our hearts go out to all those affected by this senseless violence. Please keep the community of Enoch in your prayers.”

Doug Andersen, director of media relations for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, declined to say whether the family had been members or if the church was aware of any allegations of domestic violence.

ABC News has reached out to the Enoch City Mayor and police department for more information.

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