Boren family Utah shootings: Northampton sister talks of loss

Joshua Boren Jnr, Joshua Boren, Haley Boren, Kelly Boren and Marie King (l-r) Image copyright Facebook
Image caption The bodies of the Boren family and Marie King were found in their home in Spanish Fork, Utah

On 16 January 2014, an American police officer shot his British wife, her mother and their two children dead before turning the gun on himself.

Police reports show Joshua Boren, 34, killed his mother-in-law Marie King, 55, his wife Kelly, 32, and two children Joshua, 7, and Haley, 5, at their Utah home with a bullet to the head.

BBC News has spoken to Jeanette Malpas, Marie King's sister, who says she will "never come to terms" with what happened to her family.

All was not well in the Borens's marriage. The police report showed Kelly had been repeatedly drugged and raped by her husband, who recorded the sexual abuse on film.

Mrs Malpas, 57, from Northampton, said she was "disgusted" by what had happened to her niece.

Describing her sister Marie as a "party girl" and "one of a kind", Mrs Malpas said Ms King moved in with her daughter just three months before the killings.

In her first interview since the shootings - nearly 12 months ago - Mrs Malpas revealed her family first found out about what had happened via Facebook before hearing from the Foreign Office.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Police were called to the family home when Joshua Boren, an officer with Lindon City Police, failed to report for duty on 16 January
Image copyright Spanish Fork City Police Department
Image caption Signs of the shooting were evident throughout the first floor of the house, the police report said
Image copyright Spanish Fork City Police Department
Image caption The bodies of the Boren family were discovered in the master bedroom

Ms King had been a pupil at Northampton School for Girls and lived in the town before moving to the US.

Mrs Malpas said the loss of her sister, whose body was found in a small upstairs bedroom, was "tragic".

"We're just devastated, everybody is. We can't come to terms with it. There's never going to be any closure on it," she said.

"He [Boren] took our family away from us.

"It's like watching a scene from somebody else on the news, not us, that it's happened to another family. But it's not, it's happened to us.

"It's just something there'll never be any closure on and we'll never come to terms with it, never."

Key findings from police report

Image copyright Facebook
  • All five members of the family died from a fatal bullet wound to the head
  • Marie King, Kelly Boren and the children each suffered an additional bullet wound
  • Boren used his police issue gun to murder his family
  • It was known by friends of Joshua and Kelly Boren the couple were having "marital problems"
  • Kelly Boren was drugged and raped by her husband four times over two years
  • The couple separated in September 2013 and Mr Boren moved to a rented flat. The day before the shooting, Kelly had told her husband the marriage was "not going to work out"
  • Boren was abused physically and sexually as a child by one of his mother's lovers and was undergoing therapy
Image copyright Spanish Fork City Police Department

Source: Spanish Fork City Police Department

Marie married Jeff King, an American serviceman based in Northamptonshire, gave birth to Kelly while in the UK and moved to the United States about 25 years ago.

After a divorce, she moved in with Kelly and her family in Spanish Fork while waiting to rent a new property.

Image copyright Jeanette Malpas
Image caption The four sisters came to Northampton from Wales when their father was offered work in the town

"Marie was one of a kind, she was called 'deadly nightshade' as a kid," said Mrs Malpas.

"As long as she was all right and the family around us, that's all she cared about.

"She was a party girl and liked going out."

Image copyright AP
Image caption People gathered during a memorial service and candlelight vigil for the Boren family at the Gold's Gym, where Kelly was a member, in Spanish Fork

The UK-based family only met Boren once, during a family wedding more than a decade ago.

"He came to my son's wedding... he seemed a simple, nice bloke," Mrs Malpas said.

Years later, Ms King admitted to her sister "she had concerns" over Kelly and Josh's relationship but it was only after the police investigation following the deaths that Mrs Malpas became aware her niece had been abused by Boren during their marriage.

Image copyright Spanish Fork City Police Department
Image caption Spanish Fork City Police Department took statements to build a picture of Boren's relationships

"We didn't know full what was happening but when it came out, my God it hit us," said Mrs Malpas.

"It was so disgusting to think that something like that happened."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Friends gathered for the Boren family funeral at Lindquist's Memorial Park in Layton, Utah

She said the family was still not coping with what happened, with some needing counselling and medication.

Plans are now under way for a memorial to mark the first anniversary of the deaths.

In January, the Malpas family and friends released balloons in Northampton to coincide with the burial of Kelly, her children and Ms King in America.

Image caption A vigil was held outside the Queen Eleanor pub in Northampton remembering the family in Utah
Image copyright Jeanette Malpas
Image caption Marie King (back row centre) with Jeanette (back right) during a family holiday in Wales

"When we had the memorial, it was a mixture of sweet and sad," she said.

"There were about 200 of us in the end, lots of old friends. It didn't help the pain but it was just nice to see so many people there.

"This year we're all going to go out for a meal and tell some stories but it's frustrating not to have the closure.

"We don't know how he did it, why he did it. I can't even say his name. I don't want to think about him.

"A lot of people [in the UK] didn't know Kelly but she was a beautiful girl, she really was.

"I remember Kelly saying to me 'why do these children have to grow up?' and the next day it happened, that sticks in my mind."

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