Officer who killed family had dark side, struggled since childhood

Published: Monday, July 7 2014 8:50 a.m. MDT

Lindon police officer Joshua Boren, second from left, shot and killed his wife, two children and mother-in-law before killing himself on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, according to Spanish Fork police. Boren, 34, Kelly Boren, 32, Joshua Jaden Boren, 7, Haley Boren, 5, and Marie King, 55, were found dead inside a house at 37 N. 630 West in Spanish Fork where they all lived.


Editor's note: The following account describes disturbing descriptions in the shooting deaths of a Spanish Fork family killed in January.

SPANISH FORK — At work, Joshua Boren was a well-respected law enforcement officer, often referred to as a big "teddy bear."

But in the months since he shot and killed his wife, two children, mother-in-law and himself in January, investigators have unraveled a disturbing dark side and behavior that he apparently had been battling since childhood.

"Josh was a very troubled individual that felt like he was about to lose his wife and children," the Spanish Fork Police Department wrote in its report into the tragic deaths.

On Monday, the department completed its seven-month investigation into the Lindon police officer accused in the January killing spree. The Deseret News received a copy of the 145-page report through a Government Records Access and Management Act request, and it provides insight into what motivated the man to kill his family and take his own life.

The bodies of Kelly Boren, 32; Joshua “Jaden” Boren, 7; Haley Boren, 5; Marie King, 55; and Joshua Boren, 34, were found inside their Spanish Fork house on Jan. 16. Police believe Joshua Boren, who had previously worked for the Utah County Sheriff's Office, shot and killed his family in the upstairs area of their house before turning the gun on himself.

Alarming new details were revealed in the report that allege abuse by Joshua Boren against his wife, lingering anger against his mother, and drug, sex and pornography addictions that contributed to a troubled life and the collapse of his marriage.

The report confirms that Joshua Boren used his police-issued handgun to shoot and kill his wife, two children, and mother-in-law in January. Joshua Boren then placed the bodies of his wife and children on his bed, lying side-by-side, lay down next to them and took his own life. The body of Marie King was found in another room.

A troubled life

The report states that Joshua Boren was sexually abused as a child and had a drug addiction. It also describes an addiction to pornography that lasted into adulthood and says he had a deep hatred for his biological mother.

Several friends of both Joshua and Kelly Boren, including the officer's therapist whom he had been seeing since the fall of 2013 to try to deal with his failing marriage, reported to investigators that Joshua Boren had drugged his wife with Ambien, causing her to pass out, and raped her while videotaping the event. He did this four or five times over the past two years, several people told police.

Spanish Fork police said Monday no videotapes were ever found in connection with the investigation. Detectives investigating the murders reviewed some of Boren's own writings after his death describing personal encounters.

"He had been abused physically, sexually and emotionally as a child, and was still upset with his mother for not protecting him from the abuse. Josh had writings that indicated he struggled with inappropriate sexual activity as a minor and into his adulthood. They also indicate Josh has a history of drug abuse. The writings seem to corroborate the allegation that he had drugged and raped Kelly," the report states.

The night before the murders, Kelly and Joshua Boren got into a heated argument through text messages. Both of them seemed to agree at that point that their eight-year marriage was finally over.

"You (expletive) drugged and raped me," Kelly Boren texted, followed by four more texts with only the word "raped," according to the report.

"I hate my life because (of) you," she texted. "You killed a part of me."

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