5 dead after officer kills family in Spanish Fork

Published: Friday, Jan. 17 2014 9:10 a.m. MST

SPANISH FORK — A shocking discovery was made late Thursday at a home where police believe a police officer shot and killed his wife, two young children and his mother-in-law, before killing himself.

It was the second murder-suicide in Utah involving parents killing their children in just two days.

The bodies of Kelly Boren, 32, Joshua “Jaden” Boren, 7, Haley Boren, 5, and Marie King, 55, and officer Joshua Boren, 34, were found Thursday night inside a Spanish Fork house at 37 N. 630 West where they all lived.

"We're a small department. Our families are one big family, so we knew his entire family as well. Just a tremendous shock to our entire organization," said Lindon Police Chief Cody Cullimore.

Josh Boren was a Lindon police officer and had previously worked at the Utah County Sheriff's Office.

"He was well-liked, had a lot of friends at the sheriff's office," said Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon. "He was a big guy, just solid as a rock muscle guy. But just a teddy bear is how I would have described him. Just a mild-mannered personality."

But Cannon said that image of the hulking teddy bear is now gone as officers try to deal with the shock of hearing about Boren's apparent horrific actions.

"How we knew him suddenly fades into the distance because of the heinous nature of what he has apparently done. How do you talk about Josh as a good person, and all the good things that he did and all the good work he did and the good deputy that he was, when he appears to have done something that is almost unexplainable. I mean, how do you wrap your mind around killing your wife, your two children, and your mother-in-law? You just can't," Cannon said.

"Suddenly, it just seems inappropriate to talk about him as a good deputy. It would be inappropriate to talk about the good things that he does when there is a family out there now suffering at the tragic and senseless loss of a mother and daughter and cousins and grandchildren. That's where the focus needs to be because that's where the real tragedy lies. There are four innocent victims who have died for no reason at all."

Neighbors of the family shared in the disbelief expressed by law enforcement.

"The kids came over and played with our kids all the time, and I would always see them at the gym and would always wave to Kelly and Josh," said neighbor Brian Sloan. "You feel sad for the kids and it is kind of weird, you see see this on TV and now it happens to a neighbor."

"We decided saying a prayer for the rest of the family was best," added neighbor Nadine Meyer. "This is a very close-knit neighborhood, and we take care of each other. But when they are all gone, there is no one to take care of, which is difficult to deal with."

Both Cullimore and Cannon said they were aware of marital problems between Josh and Kelly Boren.

"I was aware there had been a brief set period of separation. I was not aware of any violence in the past or anything like that. Again, his wife, Kelly, was a friend of mine, a friend of my wife. So anything major that would have happened, I would have known about," Cullimore said.

Kelly Boren had worked in the Human Resources Department for the city of Bluffdale since August. Prior to that, she was the finance director for the town of Vineyard for six years.

Spanish Fork police, who are investigating the killings, said Friday they believe that martial contention led to Boren shooting his family.

The first sign of trouble came Thursday night when Boren was scheduled to be at work at 10 p.m. When he hadn't arrived by 11 p.m., officers were sent to his house to do a welfare check.

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