U Resident Doctor Killed in Alleged Murder-Suicide


By Mandi Johansen


The University of Utah is recovering from the tragic loss of first year medical resident Dr. Sarah Hawley. She was beloved by all who knew her.

27-year old Dr. Hawley was killed late Sunday night, Jan. 27, 2019, in what Sgt. Brandon Shear, a Salt Lake Police Department spokesman, said “appears as though at this point it is a murder-suicide, domestic related.” The incident occurred in a home on Ramona Ave. near 1800 East. Around 8 p.m. on Sunday night, a downstairs neighbor “heard yelling and screaming coming from the upstairs.” She then left the residence and called the police. After arriving, officers found Hawley and her live-in boyfriend, 30-year old Travis Geddes, dead upstairs.

It appears that the suspect, Geddes, killed Dr. Hawley before killing himself, but police are still investigating. The couple appeared to be happy and in a healthy relationship prior to the incident. Others may not be able to see what is truly happening behind closed doors, but those in need or who are in an unhealthy or violent relationship are encouraged to seek help for themselves and loved ones here.

Dr. Hawley moved to Salt Lake last summer after finishing medical school at the University of California San Francisco last May. She was studying family and preventative medicine. She was interested in helping others and her medical interests included “’womb to tomb’ full scope family practice,” according to her biography on the U Medical School’s website.

“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,” said Kolawole Okuyemi, MD, MPH, chair, Department of Family & Preventive Medicine. “Her adventurous spirit and love of learning will be missed by all those who knew her.”

In a public news statement, Michael Good, MD, CEO, University of Utah Health and dean, University of Utah School of Medicine talked about Dr. Hawley by stating, “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.”

Brian Vukelic, MD, who was 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.”

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.” Dr. Hawley will be deeply missed by her family, friends and colleagues. Her legacy will live on through those who have had the opportunity to interact with her and who remember the great life she lived.

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