She drove past the church, its parking lot full of cars, and saw the two white hearses parked in front.
It had been only a few days since Dorotha Ann and Woody Fullwood were found shot dead in their Mount Pleasant home. It had been only a few days since Denise Atwood's oldest daughter had been arrested in the Nevada desert.
The next thing the mother remembers is the hospital, where doctors treated her for stress and anxiety.
Since the last day of 2011, when police began the manhunt for their daughter, Mike and Denise Atwood say they've struggled with health, finances, threats and the whispered rumors that persist in small towns.
"We're right there in jail with her," Denise Atwood says.
For two days last week, the Atwoods listened from the first of two rows in a basement courtroom in Elko, Nev., as witnesses in a preliminary hearing detailed the allegations against their oldest child, Angela Hill. On her 26th birthday, she wore a blue jail jumpsuit and shackles around white socks. She talked about how nice it was to feel the cold air on her way to court. Her parents smiled and took her in through tired eyes.
Prosecutors in Utah and Nevada say Hill and Logan Welles McFarland, 24, burglarized homes in Mount Pleasant; stole a car from a park-and-ride lot along Interstate 15; drove to West Wendover, Nev., where an attempted carjacking and kidnapping ended in gunfire; and stole another car from a Nevada motel.
Nevada Highway Patrol troopers say McFarland and Hill led them on a high-speed chase along Interstate 80. The car went faster than 118 mph at times, but Trooper Greg Monroe said he clearly saw Hill in the passenger seat, through the scope of his assault rifle.
"Sir, when you're getting ready to pull the trigger on someone, you never forget those things," he told Hill's defense attorney during the preliminary hearing.
Denise Atwood stood up in the courtroom and walked outside, her husband following closely behind her.
In interviews with The Salt Lake Tribune, Hill, who also goes by the name Angela Marie Atwood, has proclaimed her innocence in the two-state crime spree.
She says she went to a friend's house a couple of days before New Year's Eve to get high. Hill says she fell asleep and awoke to a commotion. She says she never knew of the Fullwoods' murders until police told her after her arrest on Jan. 3.
"I remember Logan coming to the house," she said. "He came back with a big bag of stuff and went straight into [a bedroom]. I stayed out in the front room. [My friend] was freaking out."
Hill says she was told to take McFarland and leave. She stayed with him because she feared for her life and the safety of her parents, she said.
Hill and McFarland have been named persons of interest in the Fullwoods' slayings. The two have been charged in Utah with burglary counts, but prosecutors have yet to file any charges in connection with the murders.
The Atwoods say they believe their daughter, that McFarland kidnapped her and forced her into a role.
"Thank God! Thank God! Thank God!" Hill cried when she was taken into custody in the Nevada desert after the three-day manhunt.
But prosecutors say the woman was a willing participant who tried to steal a car at gunpoint, pistol-whipped a woman and fired a shot into the back of her head when the carjacking failed.
"People will think that because I support my daughter that my heart doesn't go out to that woman," Denise Atwood said after hearing the shooting victim's testimony. "It does. What she went through was awful."
The Atwoods moved to Sanpete County in 1996, hoping the patch of rural Utah would be a good place to raise their three children. But in the wake of their daughter's arrest, the couple said they feel like outsiders as they struggle with a string of financial hardships.
Denise Atwood says she's heard profanities shouted from passing cars, and she has taken to shopping in another town because she fears the looks and whispers from neighbors at her local grocery store.
With money already tight, the Atwoods say it has been harder to find work since their daughter's arrest.
"It's been slow for a while," says Mike Atwood, a subcontractor who works installing showers, window sills and marble countertops. "It's worse now."
Denise Atwood worked as a cook for Wasatch Academy. She was laid off with the rest of the kitchen staff for the winter break, but never heard back from the school when she reapplied for her job.
It would have been hard, she says. One of the Fullwoods' children works at the school. But she says she's now been left without health insurance and a paycheck.
The family has been looking for a way to hire a private defense attorney for Hill, but money is too tight.
"We can't afford the gas to visit her," Denise Atwood says. A family friend has stepped in to pay the $15 fee for collect phone calls from the Elko County Jail.
Just before Christmas, the Atwoods were served with foreclosure papers. Atwood says he's trying to save their two-story, pioneer-style home.
Last week in Elko, Mike Atwood said his wife's car was on the verge of being repossessed. "I need to come up with $1,100 by Tuesday," he says. "We'll make it work. It can only make you stronger."
The case so far
Angela Marie Hill and Logan McFarland have been ordered to stand trial in Nevada on charges including kidnapping, robbery and grand larceny. Hill also faces an additional charge of attempted murder. In Utah, the two have been charged with felony burglary. While prosecutors have called the two "persons of interest" in the slayings of Woody and Dorotha Ann Fullwood, of Mount Pleasant, murder charges have not been filed.
An extradition hearing for McFarland is scheduled for next month, but Nevada officials say they intend to try their case before allowing the man to return to Utah.
"We know there are good people here in the state of Utah working on the case, and we're leaving it up to them," Brandee Fullwood, the slain couple's daughter-in-law, said last week.