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November tragedy Case of Swiss-American family found dead in Utah declared a murder-suicide

Authorities in Mapleton, Utah investigated the deaths in cooperation with the Swiss consulate in San Francisco, the Foreign Affairs Ministry reported in November.

(Keystone)

Following an investigation, local police have attributed the death of a Swiss-American family of four in the US state of Utah last fall to a planned murder-suicide.

According to the police, the 45-year-old husband of the family shot his 42-year-old wife and two children, aged 16 and five, as well as their dog before committing suicide with a different weapon. 

The family was found dead in their home in the town of Mapleton in early November, according to reports from local investigators and the Swiss Foreign Affairs Ministry. Law enforcement officials entered the home to investigate after neighbours said they had not heard from the family in a while.

According to police documents, messages sent between the husband and wife were discovered that referenced plans for a "tragic accident". The wife, who was of Swiss nationality, had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, while her husband may have been suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness, police said.

The family had previously lived in Switzerland before moving to the western US state, where the husband, an American citizen, had gotten a job.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/vdv

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