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Man, stepdaughter and dog found dead

By Mike Anderson  |  Posted Sep 10th, 2013 @ 10:13pm


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BRIGHAM CITY — A man, his stepdaughter and a family dog have all been found dead in an apparent murder-suicide, Brigham City Police said.

Police said the mother came home at night to find her 16-year-old daughter, Alix Norman, dead in the basement at 545 N. 100 East.

Police found the girl's stepfather, 45-year-old Michael Woodruff, dead in a different room with a .40-caliber handgun near his body. They believe he shot the girl and then turned the gun on himself, Brigham City Police Lt. Michael Nelson said.

The family's dog was also shot and killed.

There was no note left behind or signs of a struggle, police said. No previous calls were made for domestic violence.

The girl's mother was unaware Woodruff even owned a gun, Nelson said.

"The relationship between the stepfather and the daughter was doing quite well," Nelson said after talking to relatives of the family. "Everybody was just in total shock."

No one else lived in the house, he said.

One neighbor heard a couple of loud pops around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, police officers said they received a call shortly after.

Rhonda Long said her boyfriend heard the dog barking earlier in the day, as well as a few popping sounds "like from a nail gun," but never suspected anything was wrong. He assumed Woodruff was doing some work around the house, which is partially under construction.

Neighbors said they were surprised at the shooting.

"It is heartbreaking. They were really nice people," said neighbor Jennifer Long.

Rhonda Long said that it was sad something like this could happen, especially to that family.

"He would have rampages over some stuff, like when the dogs would fight or something, but he never acted violent towards anybody," Jennifer Long said. "He would blow up and then calm straight down."

The medical examiner will conduct a routine toxicology screening to see if there may have been any contributing factors.

Contributing: McKenzie Romero

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