Unified Police investigating double homicide of elderly couple

51-year-old son in custody; victims identified

HOLLADAY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Unified Police continue to investigate a double homicide that occurred in Holladay on Saturday.

Police said they were called to a home at 4690 South Kelly Circle around 5:30 p.m. by a concerned family member who feared an elderly couple was in danger. When they arrived they found two victims, 85-year-old Robert Liddiard and his wife 78-year-old Diane, both longtime residents of Holladay, dead inside the home.

The suspect, identified as 51-year-old Robert Liddiard, who the family says suffers from a severe mental illness, was taken into custody after police found him at a home in Millcreek. 

Next door neighbor Ann Marie Barton says Rob was loved and trusted in the community. She also said he took care of his elderly mother and father, "Rob was their primary caregiver and took care of his parents; we all have known Rob and he was really a part of the community as well and we've always known him as a kind individual."

In a statement on her Facebook, Carol Spackman Moss, a long time neighbor and friend of the Liddiards said:

"It is with a heavy heart that I post this: Last night two wonderful neighbors, Robert and Diane Liddiard, were killed by their son Rob, who suffers from mental illness. For those who went to Olympus High, Bob Liddiard taught biology and horticulture for many years and was a dear friend and colleague of mine. His wife Diane, also graduated from Oly, as did Rob in 1984. They lived on our street, Kelly Lane and Kelly Circle for 20+ years. Who knows what demons were in Rob’s head yesterday, but he was not himself when he took his parents’ life. He called his sister earlier and told her troubling things about what was in his mind and she called police. But when they arrived, it was too late. Rob was missing for three hours and that is what accounted for the huge police presence. It was unbelievable—over twenty police vehicles—TV News vans, etc. Definitely scary for awhile. Rob went to the home of a bishop he knew and they called police. My heart aches for the entire Liddiard family. Rob had been off his meds for about two weeks. Imagine how he will feel when the realization of his actions hit him. His parents had helped him for years in every way possible. Too all of us who interacted with Rob, he was always very pleasant and friendly. The brain disease of mental illness is such a scourge to individuals and their families. Rob was divorced and had several children, so the tragedy extends to many people."

The family has asked for privacy at this time. The causes of death are still under investigation.

Anyone who has a mental illness or knows someone who suffering from one and needs help can call National Alliance on Mental Illness at (801) 323-9900.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, at any time. Memorizing a domestic violence hotline can be the first step for someone trying to get out of a dangerous situation.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1−800−799−7233. 

Click here to contact South Valley Services, a domestic violence shelter. 

Click here to contact Utah Domestic Violence Coalition.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1


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