University of Utah first-year medical resident Dr. Sarah Hawley, beloved by all who knew her, was killed on January 27th. The 27-year old’s death appears to be a domestic related murder-suicide.
According to Sgt. Brandon Shear, a Salt Lake Police Department spokesman, “the incident occurred in a home on Ramona Ave. near 1800 East. Around 8 p.m. on Sunday night, a downstairs neighbor in the basement unit of their home ‘heard screaming coming from the upstairs.’ She then left the residence climbing through a window and called the police. After arriving, officers found Hawley and her live-in boyfriend, 30-year old Travis Geddes, dead upstairs.”1
They’d been together over 4 years according to news reports and everyone said that they appeared to be a very happy couple.
Although police are still investigating, the working theory is that Geddes killed Dr. Hawley before killing himself.
Dr. Hawley moved to Salt Lake last summer after finishing medical school at the University of California San Francisco in May 2018. According to her bio on the U Medical Shcool website she was studying preventative medicine with an interest in “’womb to tomb’ full scope family practice.” The Salt Lake Tribune reports she was also studying “wilderness medicine,” something we’ll be elaborating on in a future article.
Kolawole Okuyemi, MD, MPH, chair, Department of Family & Preventive Medicine said:
“Dr. Hawley came to University of Utah Health from UC San Francisco to continue her passion of providing care to women and children in underserved communities. Her adventurous spirit and love of learning will be missed by all those who knew her.”1
In a public news statement, Michael Good, MD, CEO, University of Utah Health and dean, University of Utah School of Medicine said, “Her colleagues have shared Dr. Hawley always did a great job of connecting with her patients and understanding where they were coming from. She treated the whole person, and patients were always appreciative of her approach. She was a promising young physician, and we mourn her loss and extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends.”1
Brian Vukelic, MD, Dr. Hawley’s residency advisor, said, “Sarah made it a priority to stay in touch with her family, constantly talking about them and always mentioning her love of family. At the same time, she was excited about the opportunities Utah offered to her, particularly the ability to spend time doing all the outdoor activities she loved so much. Sarah was friendly, fantastic and hardworking. She always gave everything her all.”1
And Catherine Lucey, vice dean of education at UC San Francisco’s School of Medicine wrote, “My heart is heavy … the country lost a dedicated primary care physician & we lost a cherished friend.”1
Please watch the video below. We want to know more details of the actual death, camera footage, see statements from the people who lived in the basement/downstairs unit of their home as well as forensics and autopsy reports. We await that information.
Family, friends, coworkers, and even the parents of both the young people found dead said that Geddes had no history of mental illness, depression, or anxiety. It was an absolute shock to everyone, including Hawley’s parents, that he would do such a thing. Some of the articles we read interviewed domestic violence experts who said that people don’t usually just snap but that there is almost always is a history of domestic violence. But what is so confusing in this instance is that everyone closest to them felt that they were very happy. There were no problems that anyone was aware of.
Our heart goes out to all the family and friends who are grieving. You can read about all the deaths of holistic doctors in our series by clicking here. I have to update the list as soon as I’m able as we’re at nearly 100 now including Dr. Hawley, a holistic MD.