Suicide victim took medication, probe finds; Sheriff says he feared losing custody of 2 kids — (Deseret News)

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Deseret News

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

By Pat Reavy,  Deseret News staff writer

A Salt Lake man authorities believe shot and killed his infant son and daughter before committing suicide Monday was on medications for anxiety and depression, the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office said.
The bodies of Scott Ellison, 41, Emma Rose Ellison, 20 months, and Seth Thomas Ellison, 8 months, were found on a rural Tooele County road. Emma had
been shot outside the truck while Seth was still in his car seat. Scott was found lying next to the truck with a 9mm pistol behind his right leg.
Ellison’s family told Tooele County Sheriff’s deputies he was depressed Sunday. He separated from his wife and moved in with his parents about two
weeks ago, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.
Ellison was afraid of losing custody of his children, the statement said. His family told investigators Ellison had purchased a weapon in the past couple of months and had mentioned to a friend that “it was another option,” according to the statement.
“You can infer out of that what you want,” Sheriff Frank Scharmann told the Deseret News, noting some friends may have thought it was for protection.
Investigators have not found anyone who said they had any indication Ellison would take the action he did, Scharmann said.
Ellison’s wife told deputies he visited the children regularly during the separation. Monday he took the children alone for the first time.
Ellison and his wife were scheduled to begin counseling Tuesday, Scharmann said.
Chris Russell, 28, lived across the street from the Ellison family. He was shocked when he heard the news.
“I never noticed anything unusual over there. (Ellison) would sit out in the yard watching the kids play, doing the usual father thing,” he said.
“He’d take them on walks, they’d all play with the cat they have. Just normal family stuff. They all looked happy.”

Contributing: Laura Hancock and Norma Wagner.