Investigators delving deeper into the an
unprecedented double murder-suicide Monday afternoon in the hills
above Stockton have received a bleak suicide note written by the man
who killed his infant son and daughter and then himself.
letter, which hints at the Salt Lake City’s man’s state of mental
health, belies what at first appeared to be the relatively calm
murder scene stumbled upon by two hunters Monday afternoon.
the letter, which was addressed to the editor of The Salt Lake
Tribune and postmarked from Salt Lake City on Monday, Scott Ellison,
41, blamed his wife for abusing his children and said he was taking
them to a better place. The editor turned the letter over to
“I have stewardship to protect my children,” he
wrote. “No agency can help me. Our lives are unseeable when we look
at the universe, yet the pain in my daughters soul is as big as the
universe. Out, out brief candle. I will take you with me to a better
place ... Your suffering is over” (sic).
Ellison was last seen at
about 2 p.m. on Monday, when he picked up his 20-month-old daughter
Emma — authorities first reported that her name was Amy — and
8-month-old son Seth, and apparently drove them to a dry hillside
about a mile east of state Route 36 at Stockton Pass. Ellison then
apparently shot Seth, who was still in his child restraint seat, in
the head at point blank range with his 9 millimeter pistol, then
carried Emma about 20 feet down a hill and shot her in the head.
Ellison then apparently waited about an hour before walking behind
the car and shooting himself in the head, too.
hunters found Emma’s body at about 5:30 p.m., and thought at first
she was simply a doll left in the road. They immediately ran back to
SR-36 to call authorities.
Ellison, investigators discovered on
Wednesday, was taking medication for anxiety and depression and had
just weeks earlier separated from his wife and moved in with his
parents. His family told Tooele County Sheriff Frank Scharmann that
he was “very low and mentally depressed on Sunday.”
wife told deputies that he visited the children regularly during the
separation but on Monday took the kids for the first time.
was no indication that anything would go wrong,” said Scharmann.
“She says they were struggling financially.”
In an interview with
deputies, Ellison’s family said he had purchased a weapon in the
last couple of months and had apparently mentioned to a friend that
the gun was “another option.” Scharmann said Ellison was afraid of
losing custody of his children to the state.
“My Children are
innocent,” Ellison wrote. “Today Emma, Seth and I stand in the
stars. Cry not for us but for yourselfs for we are free ... God
bless. I am sure this is the most benevolent choice. I lay down my
life for my friends” (sic).