Resident doctor for U of U killed in murder-suicide in Sugar House

SALT LAKE CITY -- Police are investigating a murder-suicide in Sugar House Monday after two people were found dead inside a home following a disturbance.

On Monday morning, police identified the victim as 27-year-old Sarah Hawley and the suspect as 30-year-old Travis Geddes.

While few details are available, it appears the incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. Sunday inside a home on Ramona Avenue in the vicinity of 1800 East.

A neighbor heard a disturbance in the home and left the home and contacted police, police officials said. When officers arrived, they said they found two deceased people inside the home.

"It appears as though at this point it is a murder-suicide, domestic related," Sgt. Brandon Shearer with the Salt Lake City Police Department said.

Sarah Hawley and Travis Geddes | Facebook

Shearer said he isn't aware of any previous police responses at the home. He said they are investigating the deaths to determine what happened.

“It’s just a very sad situation to have to deal with something like this, even though it’s apparent what occurred: we still handle it as we would any other homicide," Shearer said. "We investigate it thoroughly just to make sure we do understand exactly what happened.”

The University of Utah released the following statement on Hawley's death:

"Today, University of Utah mourns the tragic loss of one of our bright young family medicine residents, Sarah Hawley, MD. Dr. Hawley was a first-year resident who was focusing on continuing her studies in Family & Preventive Medicine.

“Dr. Hawley came to University of Utah Health from UC San Francisco to continue her passion of providing care to women and children in underserved communities, said Kolawole Okuyemi, MD, MPH, chair, Department of Family & Preventive Medicine. “Her adventurous spirit and love of learning will be missed by all those who knew her.”

“Our thoughts are with Dr. Hawley’s family, friends and co-workers, as well as all those in our community who are impacted by this senseless act of violence,” stated Michael Good, MD, CEO, University of Utah Health and Dean, University of Utah School of Medicine. “Her colleagues have shared Dr. Hawley always did a great job of connecting with her patients and understanding where they were coming from.  She treated the whole person, and patients were always appreciative of her approach. She was a promising young physician, and we mourn her loss and extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends.”

Brian Vukelic, MD, who was Dr. Hawley’s residency advisor, stated, “Sarah made it a priority to stay in touch with her family, constantly talking about them and always mentioning her love of family.  At the same time, she was excited about the opportunities Utah offered to her, particularly the ability to spend time doing all the outdoor activities she loved so much. Sarah was friendly, fantastic, and hardworking. She always gave everything her all.”

Hawley's family sent the following statement on her passing:

“Thank you for calling. We are grieving the loss of our beloved Sarah, a strong, talented, and compassionate physician, daughter, sister and friend. She loved family medicine, her friends and family, and her new colleagues and life in Utah.  We cannot comprehend the events that led to her death and ask that you respect our privacy while we are grieving.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK. Utahns can also visit Hope4Utah and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center for additional resources. You can also download the SafeUT app for instant, confidential crisis services.

Support is available 24/7 in Utah for those dealing with domestic violence. Visit the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition online or call 1-800-897-5465 for resources and assistance. In an emergency, dial 911.

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