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Utah Parents Who Killed Children, Selves Feared ‘Pending Apocalypse’

A Utah couple and their three children who were found dead in their home last fall overdosed on drugs after the parents told friends and family they were worried about the apocalypse, authorities said Tuesday.

Benjamin and Kristi Strack and three of their four children — ages 11, 12 and 14 — were found dead in September in a locked bedroom of their Springville home. All five were in a bed, with the kids tucked into the covers around their parents.

Springville Police Chief J. Scott Finlayson said investigators have determined the family members died from drug toxicity from either methadone, heroin or a combination of drugs, including those found in cold medicine. Authorities determined the parents committed suicide. The younger two children's deaths were ruled homicides, although Finlayson said there were no signs of a struggle. The manner of death for the 14-year-old, Benson Strack, was undetermined.

Finlayson said interviews with people who knew the Stracks indicated the parents were worried about evil in the world and wanted to escape from "impending doom." "There seemed to be a concern about a pending apocalypse that the parents bought into," Finlayson said. "While some friends though that suicide may have been, or could have been, included in their plans, others believed they were going to move somewhere and live off the grid."

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— The Associated Press