A family in Utah poisoned themselves and their children with a lethal combination of methadone and over-the-counter medicine because they feared that the end of the world was coming.
One of the children, age 14, left behind a note bequeathing his possessions to a friend, indicating that he knew he was about to die.
Authorities released autopsy results for five members of the Strack family, found dead in the master bedroom of their home. Police determined that the cause of death for parents Benjamin and Kristi Strack was suicide, and the deaths of their two youngest children, 12-year-old Emery and 11-year-old Zion, were ruled homicides.
Cause of death for 14-year-old Benson could not be determined, as police were unsure of whether or not he himself made the decision to commit suicide or rather gave into his parents’ wishes and allowed them to serve him the deadly cocktail of methadone and over-the-counter meds. Benjamin and Kristi’s 18-year-old son, who is the only surviving Strack family member, found his family deceased in his parents’ bed.
When police arrived at the scene, they reportedly found cups filled with red liquid next to the bodies of the family members.
“Kristi and Benjamin were lying in the bed and the three children were lying around the bed, covered in bedding up to their necks,” a police affidavit read. “Officers reported there was a red liquid substance coming from the mouth of Kristi Strack. All the occupants of the home were non-responsive. Next to each of the victims was a cup/drink with a liquid inside.”
Officers also discovered boxes of over-the-counter flu and cold medicine, which they believe was used in combination with methadone.
An investigation concluded that the Strack parents had recently become concerned with the evil in the world, and feared a “pending apocalypse.” They reportedly had been telling friends that they wanted to escape “impending doom.” Those close to the couple believed that this meant they were planning to move “off the grid.”
A letter written by 14-year-old Benson revealed that the young teen knew he was going to die, and planned to leave his possessions to a friend.
“They had isolated themselves from neighbors and some of the family,” Benjamin’s brother, Isaac Strack, said, “and it had been awhile since Ben had been to work.
“Some of the changed behaviors before their deaths seemed out of place and didn’t make sense at the time,” he added. “But looking back now, they make sense. And now we want to speak out to prevent other people from having to endure what we are enduring.”