ENOCH, Utah (KSL.com) – Michael Hyde’s family says they are “absolutely devastated and absolutely heartbroken” by the tragic loss of Hyde, his wife, his mother-in-law and Hyde’s five children.
“We extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the entire Earl family, along with the many families, friends and neighbors affected by these eight incredible men,” the family said.
Michael Hyde, 42, is believed to have shot and killed his wife, Tausha Hyde, 40. Hyde’s mother-in-law, Gail Earle, 78; and Hyde’s children — three daughters, ages 17, 12, and 7 and two sons, ages 7 and 4 — inside their Enoch home before he took his own life.
The killings came two weeks after Tausha Hyde filed for divorce when the eight bodies were found Wednesday in their home at 4923 N. Albert Drive.
On Friday, both the families of Michael and Tausha Hyde released statements. A statement from the family of Tausha, whose maiden name is Earl, is signed “by the family of Boyd and Gail Earle.”
“As we try to make sense of this unimaginable tragedy, we want to express our gratitude for the outpouring of prayers, love, compassion and support. It is at times like these that our thoughts are drawn to a loving and all-knowing God who has created a beautiful plan of salvation that will save our most precious lives. Extends beyond mortal loss. The hurt and humility felt through these experiences only serve to draw us closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and express our deep gratitude for His infinite, beautiful and powerful Atonement. We invite all to seek the peace that can only come through Him,” said Areles.
The family expressed their appreciation to all the Enoch residents and first responders who were part of the investigation, and encouraged anyone still struggling with “this senseless loss” to “find the strength to reach out for appropriate help.”
The statement released by Michael Hyde’s family was signed by “the family of Robin and Brenda Hyde”. Attorney Matt Munson is representing the family.
“The family is heartbroken and devastated,” he said. “Surely no one saw this coming.”
In their statement, Heights said, “Thank you to everyone who has helped show love and support during this difficult time.
“We are humbled by the incredible connection and generosity of our community. Your prayers are heard, your messages are received, and our hearts are lifted by your mercy. To all who helped in any way with this tragic incident, we express our deepest gratitude for your service. “Let’s continue to support and strengthen each other during this difficult time,” the family continued. “Our fervent prayer is that through faith in our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, there will be peace and comfort in the hearts of all who join us in mourning the loss of these eight beautiful lives.”
The family said an announcement will be made as soon as the funeral arrangements are completed. Enoch officials said Thursday that the victims’ bodies had been taken to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsies, which were expected to take place Friday.
The gruesome murders have shocked the southern Utah community of 7,500 residents north of Cedar City. Some residents and those who knew the Hydes say they saw no red flags during the divorce proceedings and that Michael Hyde committed the crimes makes the scene even more shocking.
James Park, who represented Tausha Hyde in the divorce, said her husband never expressed any fear of physically harming her. He has met Tausha Hyde only twice, most recently on Tuesday, and said she was an “incredibly nice lady.”
As of Friday, the Hyde children’s names had not been officially released. The Iron County School District says the children attended four schools in grades preschool through high school.
In their letter, the Earls warned members of the public and media not to use the family’s story for any political agenda.
“Safety weapons were deliberately removed from the home prior to the incident as all adults were properly trained to protect human life. This is the ongoing loss to families, communities and this nation when safety weapons are not accessible. We want the media to turn their attention to the important issues surrounding this event.
“Instead of political argument, let’s encourage reporting on the value of all human life, the great acts of God who can provide a forgiving heart, how religion can heal and expand our power of love, and a return to the basic principles of peace. Within our nation, the truth is that this tragedy is God, religion, freedom, peace and family. And in memory of the effort required to maintain those freedoms.
Contribution: Associated Press