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A Utah mother is dead and her husband is in custody after he allegedly killed her and then tried to take his own life.
John Weston Erickson, 41, was arrested on Saturday for charges of murder and child abuse, offenses that are both alleged to have taken place on Wednesday, online jail records show. John is accused of fatally stabbing his wife, 41-year-old Utahna Halona Erickson, on Wednesday, the Deseret News reports. The couple’s two young children, aged 7 and 11, then reportedly ran from the family home in Midvale to a neighbor’s house to ask for help.
When officers with the Unified Police Department arrived on the scene in response to a report of domestic violence, they found blood in the home and Utahna in the master bedroom with lacerations to her neck, PEOPLE reports. Officers also observed that she sustained defensive wounds during the stabbing, according to an arrest report obtained by the outlet. John had also sustained deep cuts to his forearms and neck, and reportedly told police that he injured himself and was trying to commit suicide.
Utahna died from her injuries, while her husband was taken to a local hospital, where he survived and was booked at the Salt Lake City jail, the Deseret News reports.
Utahna is survived by her children, one of whom —the 7-year-old girl — is alleged to have heard her mother screaming and witnessed her father on top of her mother, killing her, PEOPLE reports. The girl then sustained injuries on her hands trying to help her mother and then fleeing for help.
In a statement shared by Utah Homicide Survivors, Utahna’s family mourned the loss of an “amazing soul” and asked for donations to help her children as they move forward.
“We're at a loss and our hearts have been crushed since we lost the most beautiful, loving and amazing soul Utahna Halona Erickson,” their statement reads, in part. “She made everything beautiful and always went out of her way to bring family and friends together. The best daughter, sister, auntie, grand daughter, friend and above all wonderful mother to her two children. Her physical presence in our family will be greatly missed. She was taken from us way too soon in a way that we will never understand.”
The Unified Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Oxygen.com.
John Weston Erickson did not have a criminal history aside from minor traffic tickets, and a motive for the crime is, at this time, unknown, according to the Deseret News.
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