Skip to Content

Five members of a family found dead in their Springville, Utah, home last weekend in a case that has baffled police and gained national attention.

Utah Family's Death Baffles Police

Benjamin Stack, his wife Kristi and three of their children had likely gathered in the parents’ upstairs bedroom to watch a movie on their big-screen TV.

Stack, 37, Kristi, 36, Benson, 14, Emery, 12, and Zion, 11, were all found dead there, for reasons unknown, by an older son, Janson McGee, 18.

A preliminary autopsy showed that the family wasn’t killed by violent assault, and firefighters didn’t find any trace of carbon monoxide in the home.

Some doors may have been open, say police, and a ferret and two cats were found alive inside the house. Beyond that, they’re searching for answers.

"It’s an unknown at this point," said Lt. David Caron of the Springville P.D. "We are all waiting somewhat impatiently for the toxicology report."

"Until we get that back, it’s a mystery."


Caron said that several family members were found on the parents’ bed, while others were on the floor when the 18-year-old stopped in to check on them.

"It’s my understanding that they gathered in the bedroom quite a bit to watch movies on TV," he said, though "the TV wasn’t on when I got to the house."

"Did they get up and turn it off, fell asleep, then something happened? We just don’t know. But we’ve sent [a lot of] evidence off to be analyzed to give us a picture of what happened."

Extended family members plan to hold a private funeral for the Stracks and are not commenting about the deaths, other than releasing a statement.

"We are all shocked and heartbroken by the sudden loss of so many members of our family," said Bob McGee, an uncle of Janson McGee.

"Events like this are difficult to understand and even harder to come to terms with. No words can adequately describe our feelings of grief and sorrow."

"Show those around you how much you love them."

"You never know when or if tragedy will strike. And you will never regret holding your loved ones closer or being kinder to those around you."