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West Jordan mother charged with murdering daughter in botched suicide pact

Published: Thursday, March 29 2012 4:25 p.m. MDT

WEST JORDAN — A mother was charged Thursday with killing her daughter as part of a botched suicide pact.

Mary Ethyl Hansen, 52, of West Jordan, was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, for the shooting death of her daughter, 18-year-old Virginia Hansen.

On March 21 when police responded to Hansen's home, 8366 Bard Lane, she admitted to an officer that she'd shot her daughter because they had a suicide pact, charges filed in 3rd District Court state.

Mary Hansen told an investigator that she and her daughter "wanted to die," the charges state.

The woman allegedly told others at the hospital that she and her daughter suffered from a mental illness.

Police say after shooting her daughter, Mary Hansen shot herself in the head. She then drove herself to the home of a neighbor, honked her horn and asked the neighbor to call 911.

The woman then drove back to her home, a few houses away. Police found her bleeding and still inside her vehicle when they arrived. After she was taken to the hospital, a police officer said he overheard Hansen tell medical personnel that she had shot her daughter twice, then shot herself, the charges state.

Virginia Hansen's body was located in a bedroom of the home. A silver revolver was located nearby.

Neighbors say the mother and daughter, who moved to Utah from California, were rarely seen outside their home, and rarely seen apart. One friend, Audrey Orrillo, said the family had financial problems. Hansen was about to lose her home, she said, and was struggling to live on Social Security.

According to the Salt Lake County treasurer website, Hansen owed $8,819.62 in delinquent property taxes, which had gone unpaid since 2008.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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