‘Beautiful, Loving and Amazing Soul’: Utah Mom Is Killed, Allegedly by Husband Who Then Stabbed Himself

A Utah woman who was killed in front of her two children was described by her family as a “beautiful, loving and amazing soul.”

Utahna Halona Erickson, 41, was fatally stabbed Wednesday at her home in Midvale. Her husband John Weston Erickson, 41, attempted suicide after he allegedly attacked his wife.

He was taken to the hospital for his injuries and later booked into Salt Lake County Jail under suspicion of first-degree murder and second-degree child abuse.

“She was taken from us way too soon in a way that we will never understand,” Utahna's family wrote in a statement Friday on the Utah Homicide Survivors Facebook page.“She made everything beautiful and always went out of her way to bring family and friends together."

The Unified Police Department responded to a domestic violence call at Utahna’s home just after 6 p.m. on Oct. 28. There, officers found a “large amount of blood throughout the residence, leading up to the master bedroom,” according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by PEOPLE.

Utahna, 41, was found in the master bedroom with three large, deep lacerations on her neck and numerous defensive wounds. Erickson was discovered in the same bedroom on the bed with “deep lacerations to both forearms and his neck, which he stated he committed on himself in efforts to die,” the affidavit states.

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According to the affidavit, Utahna’s seven-year-old daughter heard her mother’s scream and ran to the bedroom, where she saw Erickson on top of her.

“The little girl had tried to intervene and had some cuts on her hand that required some stitches,” Unified Police Department Sgt. Melody Cutler tells PEOPLE. “Obviously she witnessed something horrific.”

The girl and her 11-year-old brother then ran to a neighbor’s house.

“They ran to the neighbor’s house, where they told the neighbor their dad was hurting their mom,” Cutler says. “They said both of their parents were still in the house.”

A fundraiser for Utahna's children has been set up, and has raised over $23,000 so far.

“[Utahna’s children] have a long and difficult road ahead of them that no child should have to travel, however, we will come together as an army of family & friends to love and protect them,” the family statement reads.

“May you all love your kids relentlessly, give your siblings an extra call to tell them you love them and cherish the moments with your parents and grandparents whenever you can. We miss you Tahna, and we will forever cherish our memories.”

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