On Tuesday, Kyler Ramsdell-Oliva, 32, shot her two daughters, Kenadee Oliva, 13, and Isabella Oliva, 7, in their Syracuse home before killing herself.
The mother had just broken up with her fiance and told him to leave their home. Close friend Pegi Butler said Ramsdell-Oliva had fought depression, but things in her life had improved in recent years. She confessed to Butler that she still loved the man deeply but was heartbroken. Still, Butler never suspected she or the girls were in any danger when they spoke on Sunday.
In 2013, the Deseret News counted seven incidents of domestic-related murder-suicides where anger, jealousy or depression appeared to be motivating factors. In 2012 there were four, according to statistics kept by the Deseret News.
"What's really important, I think, for folks to understand is that these really tragic incidents rarely happen in isolation. Often times there may be some other things that are happening. People may be feeling extremely desperate, depressed, they may have made threats to hurt themselves or other people in their family," said Kendra Wyckoff, interim director of the Utah Domestic Violence Council.
Wyckoff said it was important for those threats to be taken seriously.
As to why some people kill their children in addition to their significant other before killing themselves, she said she didn't have a good answer.
"Clearly, people are in a desperate place. We need to help people understand there are resources available. There is help."
There are two suicide hotlines in the state for people to get help.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255, operates 24 hours a day. The Utah Domestic Violence LINKLine is 1-800-897-LINK (5465).
Contributing: Shara Park, Sam Penrod
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