Police: Utah double murder suspect confessed to killing parents

Posted at 9:11 PM, June 20, 2024

WASHINGTON, Utah (Scripps News Salt Lake City) — The morning after a man and a woman were found shot to death in a Washington City home, their daughter was arrested on suspicion of murdering them.

Just before 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, officials took the suspect, 28-year-old Mia Bailey, into custody in a St. George field.

The search came after Washington City Police were alerted to a shooting at around 7 p.m. Mia’s brother called police from a neighbor’s house, saying he fled his parents’ house after hearing gunshots.

When officers arrived at the home, they found two adults, one woman and one man, who had died from apparent gunshot wounds.

According to an arrest report, the victims were Mia’s parents, Joseph and Gail Bailey.

suspect surrenders to police

Mia Bailey surrenders to police following a manhunt June 18, 2024. (Scripps News Salt Lake City)

After finding the deceased individuals, officials turned their attention to locating Mia. She was seen leaving the area in a yellow 2014 Kia Soul.

St. George Police later said Mia was seen in the area and sent out notifications to residents, warning them to shelter-in-place briefly overnight as a search was conducted with no success.

Lt. Kory Klotz with the Washington City Police Department said darkness and thick shrubbery made searching difficult during the overnight hours.

Once residents woke up and began looking for the distinct yellow car, Klotz said officials were flooded with information and possible sightings.

“I believe we were on scene here just before 8 o’clock and at that point a citizen called in and said ‘Hey we believe we might have found Mia,'” Klotz explained.

Multiple agencies responded to the area, where they saw Mia and began negotiation tactics.

“Mia complied with what we were asking, set the gun down and was able to get up and walk over to our officers who were able to take her into custody,” Klotz said.

Klotz also detailed that the gun Mia had was seized by police.

According to court documents, Mia spoke with police after her arrest and admitted to shooting and killing her parents. She reportedly said she had no remorse for doing so, and she would not change what she did, saying: “I would do it again. I hate them.”

She also admitted to shooting at her brother. She said after she killed her parents, she went downstairs to a room where her brother and his wife were hiding from her and had locked themselves inside. She said she fired one shot through the door, but it did not hit anyone. She said her brother was not the main target, but reportedly stated that “she would not have been sad had the gunshot killed him.”

Mia added that she had a “falling out” with her parents and her brother, and she did not have permission to enter their home. She said she entered through the front door, which was unlocked, then “almost immediately began shooting at her mother.”

She was booked on suspicion of two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, and several counts of felony discharge of a firearm.

woman smiles at camera

This undated image provided by the Washington City Police Department shows double murder suspect Mia Bailey. (Washington City Police Department)

Once she was taken into custody, all alerts and warnings were lifted from the surrounding area.

After securing the suspect, Klotz said the yellow vehicle was also located in another location in Washington County and would be processed as potential evidence.

“We’re fortunate to have such a well-trained and well-versed negotiation team who were essential today in being able to talk with this suspect and get that person to come into custody safely,” reflected St. George Police Department Officer Tiffany Mitchell.

Mitchell credited various agencies, as well as local residents, for their cooperation and support in the search.

One of the residents who witnessed the ordeal was Bob Dalton. He lives nearby and said he noticed a large police presence in his neighborhood.

“Scary situation we’ve had here, I don’t live very far from here so a lot of the residents are nervous, they’re a little bit frightened, they’re scared, rightfully so,” he said.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Salt Lake City, an E.W. Scripps Company. 

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