WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT MAY BE TOO DARK OR UNSUITABLE FOR SOME VIEWERS. DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
ENOCH, Utah (ABC4) — So many questions remain unanswered on what happened the night Enoch City Police say Michael Haight shot and killed his mother-in-law, his wife, and his five children, but recently obtained recordings provide a look into the family’s life.
According to police records, Michael secretly recorded several conversations he had with his family the night he killed them and then took his own life. ABC4’s Justice Files filed a records request for those recordings and reviewed the videos.
Most of the videos are dark because Michael was hiding his phone in his pocket, but the audio is haunting. After much discussion, ABC4 News chose to share that video in the hopes that this will help others who are in a similar situation understand how quickly abusive relationships can turn deadly.
In some of the audio, Michael can be heard talking to his children, even making plans with them.
“We might go sledding again. We won’t do that today, but we can go to the mountains, maybe tomorrow or the next day,” said Michael Tuesday morning, hours before their deaths.
The rest of the recordings were made Tuesday evening. Michael can be heard first bringing up concerns over how much child support he would have to pay and why he wouldn’t move out of the house.
“It makes it look like you’re, you’re abandoning your family and so that can be an argument used against a parent that leaves,” said Michael.
Tausha Haight was firm in her responses to her husband, and she told Michael she didn’t know how much child support would be, but that he needed to hire an attorney so they could move forward. She also told him if he refused to move out, she would be forced to go through the legal system.
“I’m a little curious why you’re so wanting me so aggressively to just move out of here too you know, and not let the system play out and why you’re feeling like you have to get some motion to remove me from here,” said Michael.
“Our kids have mentioned, especially our older two, have mentioned that when you’re here, it is more tense. We’re not able to, to relax, we’re still walking around on eggshells. I don’t know if you’re going to be good cop, bad cop. I don’t know if you’re going to be mean or angry or frustrated or get in my face or threatening to me or if you’re going to be nice and amicable,” responded Tausha.
In 2020, Macie Haight, who was 14 at the time, told authorities her father, Michael, was abusive, according to police and DCFS records. Michael denied everything. Tausha told police she did not think criminal charges were appropriate, but did say she hoped this would be a wake-up call for Michael. No charges were filed. DCFS reported there was insufficient evidence of abuse.
According to state records, DCFS was called two more times. The latest report was filed 28 days before their deaths, but Enoch City Police were never contacted. Enoch City Police reports suggest DCFS had planned on interviewing Tausha on Jan. 5, but it was too late.
In a police interview, friends said Tausha was proud of finally finding the courage to stand up to Michael.
Michael’s recordings show him later begging Tausha for another chance, at one point crying, but Tausha stood her ground.
“I cannot continue to tolerate the way you’ve treated me,” said Tausha.
The last recording is timestamped at 9:07 p.m.
“I know that I’m the cause, I know, I have things to work on. I know it. I know I have so many good traits, too. And I know if I can work on these. I’m just I’m pleading,” said Michael.
Tausha refused to reconcile and walked away.
At 9:43 p.m. Michael texted Tausha asking to talk. Tausha never responded. A neighbor later told police they heard gunshots around 3:30 a.m.
If this story has you concerned about your own safety or someone else’s please call the Domestic Violence Hotline. You can call at any time to talk to a professional, even if you’re not sure you are in an abusive relationship. This line is there to answer questions, provide resources and empower victims of domestic violence. Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, 800-799-7233.