Mother, son found dead in apparent murder-suicide in Millcreek Canyon

Posted at 4:14 PM, Nov 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-11 23:20:01-05

SALT LAKE COUNTY — Unified police have identified the murder-suicide victims found in Millcreek Canyon Tuesday afternoon.

Unified police say Lionel Williamson, 51, apparently shot and killed his 74-year-old mother Alice Williamson, then took his own life.

The Williamsons were both from Taylorsville and lived together. Lionel was also known as Art.

Unified police spokesman Justin Hoyal said the investigation shows that Alice Williamson was sitting in the passenger seat of a parked car near Winter Gate. Investigators believe Lionel Williamson got out of the car, got a rifle out of the trunk and shot his mother.

Hoyal said Lionel Williamson then went to back of the car and shot himself.

Police say people in the area heard gunshots and found the bodies. Witnesses left the area to get cell service to call police.

Brent Cox knew the Williamsons and lived in their Taylorsville neighborhood.  He believes he knows the motive for the killing.

"Alice has been fighting diabetes and other aliments for quite a while and her sister and her kids have been taking care of her," Cox said. "The struggle I guess is when you lose hope and I think that's where Art was and Art made some decisions and choices today out of hopelessness and despair."

Cox said Alice and Art Williamson were kind to the whole neighborhood, and they'll both be missed.

"I know it's a struggle caring for someone who is ill and needs constant care and support so knowing that was the situation I think Art just made the choice out of love," Cox said.

Police said a note was also found at the scene but would not go into details about what it said.

Police are not commenting on any possible motives at this time until they complete their own interviews with friends and family of the deceased.