Police discovered the bodies of a family of four and their pet last week and now have declared that it was a murder-suicide

By Alexia Fernández
November 16, 2017 12:41 AM

A family of four was found dead in its home after the father shot and killed them last Thursday, according to police.

The Mapleton Utah Police Department Chief John Jackson released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying that the deaths of Timothy Griffith, 45, his wife Jessica Griffith, 42, his stepdaughter Samantha Badel, 16, and his 5-year-old son Alexandre Griffith were due to a murder-suicide.

The department said Timothy had shot his wife, his children and their dog before turning the gun on himself.

“Timothy used two different types of firearms that were both recovered at the scene,” the statement read. “It appears Timothy used one firearm to murder the family and a different one to commit suicide. Investigators have found Timothy purchased two firearms locally this past September.”

Jackson’s conclusion that the homicides were in fact a murder-suicide came from “positions of the deceased, location of firearms, signs of movement through the home and evidence left at the scene, as well as examination of the decedents through the autopsy process.”

Utah Family Murder Suicide
Credit: Adam Fondren/The Deseret News/AP
Utah Family Murder Suicide
Mapleton police at the Griffith family home
| Credit: Sammy Jo Hester/The Daily Herald/AP

In a previous statement released last Friday, police said the family had moved to Mapleton, Utah, from Switzerland in July of this year. Badel was a sophomore student at Mapleton Mountain High School. According to KSL.com, Timothy worked for Nestle.

A concerned neighbor called police after noticing that the family’s car hadn’t moved, and that the lights in the home had been off for several days.

After officers received no response after knocking for several minutes, they removed a window and entered to find the entire family dead from apparent shot gun wounds, including a large dog.

If you or someone you know is showing warning signs of suicide, consider contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK, texting the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or seeking help from a professional.