A Utah police officer reportedly murdered his wife, two young children and mother-in-law, before committing suicide according to police in the small, tight-knit community of Spanish Fork.
34-year-old Joshua Boren had been a police officer with the Lindon Police Department for only a few months, following several years of service as a sheriff’s deputy. The tragic murder-suicide was reportedly discovered late Thursday night by officers with the Spanish Fork Police Department after officers with the Lindon department contacted them to request that they check on him because he didn’t show up for his shift.
The officers who arrived on the scene say that they looked through the window and observed blood and shell casings inside the home. Upon entering, they found the body of Boren’s mother-in-law, 55-year-old Marie King, in one bedroom and the bodies of Boren, his 32-year-old wife Kelly and their two children 7-year-old Jaden and 5-year-old Haley in a second bedroom. All of the victims had been shot to death.
An officer from the Spanish Fork, Utah police department says that Boren’s suicide and the murder of his wife and children came as a “total shock.” He said that he was aware that the couple had been having some marital difficulties over the previous few months, but that there were absolutely no warning signs of the possibility of such a violent and devastating attack. Boren did not leave a suicide note.
Residents of the Boren family’s small Utah hometown are reportedly mourning the loss of the family today. Employees at the local Gold’s Gym report that the family used to frequent the location. The gym’s assistant manager described the tragedy as shocking. He reported that both Josh and Kelly Boren were committed to fitness and that Kelly was in the process of training for an upcoming bodybuilding competition with a group of local women at the gym. The community has planned a candlelight vigil in honor of the slain family to take place in the gym’s parking lot on Saturday night.
This is the second murder-suicide that the state of Utah has seen in just the past few days. Earlier this week a 32-year-old mother, Kyler Ramsdell-Oliva, shot and killed her two daughters, Kenadee, 13, and Isabella,7, before turning the gun on herself to take her own life according to police in the town of Syracuse in northern Utah. Police report that the family had been living in the home for only about three months with Ramsdell-Oliva’s fiancé. The couple reportedly broke up and the fiancé had moved out just one day prior to the killings.
Like residents of the town of Spanish Fork, residents of Syracuse were shocked and saddened to learn of the horrific incident in their community as well. Friends and neighbors described Kenadee and Isabella as “nice” and “quiet” saying that they had only recently begun to get settled into their new lives in the community.
Investigation into the events leading up to police officer Joshua Boren’s murder of his family and apparent suicide is ongoing. Perhaps as more details emerge, friends and family left behind will be able to piece together just how such a tragedy could have happened in the midst of their small Utah town.
By Michele Wessel