The recent deaths of Russel Smith, his wife Shawna, and their two young children in Roy, Utah are being investigated as a murder-suicide officials say. Experts contend that domestic violence homicides such as these are far too common in Utah, a grim fact the death of the Smith family has illuminated. Reporting for Fox 13 News Tiffany Demasters highlights the following:
- Adult homicides make up 42 percent of domestic violence cases in Utah since 2000, experts say. The national average is 30 percent.
- Each month at least one woman is murdered by her intimate partner in Utah.
- This is the second case of an apparent murder-suicide this month. The first occurred in Murray on June 7 when Johnathon Reeves reportedly shot and killed his fiancée, 34-year-old Jaimie Salazar and their 2-year-old son, Jordan Reeves, before turning the gun on himself.
- According to Utah Department of Health numbers there are three domestic violence related suicides each month.
- State numbers also show roughly 80 children every year witness their mother’s murder or attempted murder.