Timothy Hayden and his wife Marilyn worked for the the same company. They had two children, Shawn Michael Hayden, 17, and Lindsay Rachelle Hayden, 15. As both were involved in school and athletics it was likely a busy household.
On Wed. sometime before 5:50 pm a neighbor had attempted to call someone in the household. When she didn’t get an answer, she went to the home and knocked on the door.
“We found somebody on the ground,” the caller said. “I think they’re dead! I saw somebody through the garage window. Just, please, just get the cops here!”
Police responded to the call and attempted entry to the home. However, all exits had been blocked with furniture and they had to force their way in. Inside they found the bodies of all four family members shot to death.
They also found a note from Timothy Hayden. Police have declined to disclose it’s contents or a motive. But they believe that Timothy shot all three family members then turned the gun on himself.
Shawn was described as cocky and funny. He told funny stories and was a funny person. He was a sophomore and played basketball and golf. Lindsay was described a sweetheart. She was a freshman and played basketball and softball. Both had a lot of friends. Even Timothy was described as a laid back person. Timothy and Marilyn were employed by the same company.
The family dog lived through the violence and has been taken to a local shelter. His name was ‘Promise’.
http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060511/NEWS/60511019/1001/ENT04 This article has an interesting history of mass murders in Iowa.
An active, friendly family. The neighbors are gathering and clinging to each other, trying to support each other and make sense of the incomprehensible.
A school of children, trying to cope with the tragic death of two of their own. They are receiving counseling at school. Yet even in the midst of their grief, I found a mention of their concern for the family dog, which had been put into a shelter. One has said that they will be OK. But they will have a struggle to go on, as each day that they attend school, they will be freshly reminded of the absence of two of their friends.
Their place of employment is providing counseling for their fellow employees. They lost not one, but two.
I have never mentioned before the police. They get called to the home, due to a suspected tragedy. They are the ones who must enter, who must physically face the decimation of a family which included two children with all of the attached gore, sense of loss, and grief all in the midst of a normal family home.
Even the most seasoned will often have problems with the death of a child. Yet they have a job to do and so must go on. Still it takes a toll on them. Someone must make arrangements for the removal of the family, investigation of the scene, locating and notifying relatives. Some of those officers likely have families out there and will likely find themselves thinking of them.
Somewhere is probably two families who are trying to cope with grief, and struggling to make arrangement for the respectful burial of a large chunk of their family. They will probably have to wait until after autopsies are done. They will find themselves wanting to pick up the phone and call the family, to share their grief- yet they know the family is not there. They will be struggling with the question why- and even though there was a note, that will not answer all of their questions.
The inexplicable loss of a family in such a tragic way touches us all. This wasn’t a ‘high risk’ family. This was a family much like what is found in millions of homes throughout the country. They had their triumphs and struggles. Their share of pain and joy. And always the sense of hope with the two outgoing children. All brought to an abrupt end.
I do not have the answers. I do not know why. There are many theories out there of why a man would kill his whole family and himself. But there is no answer to the big question so many wish to know……..why this family?