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Officer who killed family was once disciplined for shooting at dog, report says

Friend says husband was insecure, showed signs of jealousy

Published: Thursday, Jan. 23 2014 6:20 p.m. MST

SPANISH FORK — Josh Boren, the police officer who shot and killed his wife, two young children and mother-in-law before taking his own life, was once disciplined for shooting at a stray dog while he was on duty rather than taking it to the shelter.

According to a report obtained by the Deseret News through a public records request, Boren was suspended without pay for 36 hours in 2011 while he was working for the Utah County Sheriff's Office.

On March 21, 2011, Boren called his supervisor to report that he was "in trouble." He had picked up stray dog that appeared to be abandoned, took it to a remote area of Keigly Quarry near Santaquin, and fired at least three rounds at the dog with a .22 rifle in an attempt to kill the animal, the report states.

It was unknown if any of the rounds actually hit the dog. However, one of the rounds did strike the passenger door of his patrol car, according to the report.

Boren — who once worked as an animal control officer — later admitted he did not follow the department's protocols.

"Instead of booking the dog into the South County Animal Shelter in accordance with policy, you attempted to destroy the animal on your own," the report states.

"Although Orem Police Department did not find enough evidence to support criminal charges, your misconduct rises to the level of a serious behavior problem as defined (by the department's code book)," the report states. "Your misconduct has caused serious discredit to your credibility as a peace officer and to the Utah County Sheriff's Office."

Boren, 34, graduated from Peace Officer Standards and Training in 2006. He worked at the Utah County Jail and as an animal control officer during his time with the sheriff's office. Boren had taken a job last fall as an officer with the Lindon Police Department. He was selected from a field of 70 candidates. His 2011 suspension was the only disciplinary action taken against him from either department.

After Boren failed to report to work on Jan. 16, he and his family — wife Kelly Boren, 32; children Joshua “Jaden” Boren, 7, and Haley Boren, 5; and mother-in-law Marie King, 55 — were found dead inside their home at 37 N. 630 West in Spanish Fork. Friends and police say Josh and Kelly Boren had been having marital problems and were living apart. Kelly Boren was reportedly ready to begin divorce proceedings, according to some friends.

A single funeral service was held Wednesday in Layton for Kelly, Jaden and Haley Boren and Marie King. A funeral service for Josh Boren was held in Spanish Fork on Thursday.

Many of Josh Boren's friends and co-workers described him as a big teddy bear whom they wouldn't expect to lash out with such violence.

But RiRi Whiting, one of Kelly Boren's best friends, believes there was more happening with her friend's marriage than what appeared on the surface.

Just hours before her body was found, Whiting said she texted Kelly Boren who was headed home after work. In their exchange of text messages, Kelly seemed to indicate she was done with the marriage, Whiting said. She then used the word "rage" when referring to her estranged husband.

Whiting texted back, "Rage?" but said Kelly Boren didn't go into any more detail other than to say she would talk more when the two met at the gym later that night. Kelly Boren, however, was killed a few hours later.

Whiting remembers Josh Boren as being insecure and said he would often show signs of jealousy. He would monitor his wife's Facebook activity constantly and confront her whenever she "liked" or made a comment on the Facebook wall of someone whom he didn't know, she said. He would then try to "friend" that person himself on the social media site.

Whiting said Thursday that many of Kelly Boren's friends are still being interviewed by detectives trying to figure out exactly what happened. She believes more about the couple's relationship will become public once the investigation is completed.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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