Son-in-Law of Temple Missionaries among Dead in London Terror Attack

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 23 March 2017

Kurt W. Cochran and his wife, Melissa Cochran, were visiting Europe to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary when the March 22, 2017, terrorist attack in London occurred. Kurt Cochran was killed in the attack. Melissa Cochran was seriously injured.  Photo courtesy of Clint Payne.

Article Highlights

  • Kurt W. Cochran from Bountiful, Utah, died in the terror attack in London that also injured his wife.
  • Melissa Cochran’s parents are serving as temple missionaries in London.


The son-in-law of temple missionaries is counted among the three people who were killed in a March 22 terrorist attack outside Great Britain’s Parliament.

Kurt W. Cochran from Bountiful, Utah, died after a man plowed his car into a crowd of pedestrians gathered on the famed Westminster Bridge. The assailant then fatally stabbed a police officer before being shot and killed by police, according to USA Today.

The victim’s wife, Melissa Cochran, was also seriously injured in the attack. She is being cared for in a London hospital.

The couple was in Europe to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Melissa Cochran’s parents are serving as temple missionaries in London.

Her brother, Clint Payne, released a statement saying his family is “heartbroken” over the tragic death.

“Kurt was a good man and a loving husband to our sister and daughter,” he said.

The Cochrans were scheduled to return to the United States on Thursday, March 23.

“We express our gratitude to the emergency and medical personnel who have cared for them and ask for your prayers on behalf of Melissa and our family,” the family wrote in the statement. “Kurt will be greatly missed, and we ask for privacy as our family mourns and as Melissa recovers from her injuries.”

U.S. President Donald Trump expressed sympathy to the Cochran family in a March 23 tweet: “A great American, Kurt Cochran, was killed in the London terror attack. My prayers and condolences are with his family and friends.”

In all, three people were killed—including Mr. Cochran and two British citizens—and another 40 injured in what’s being called the deadliest London terror attack in a dozen years. Multiple arrests have been made in connection with the attack.

The Islamic State has reportedly claimed responsibility for the tragedy.

“Our investigation is ongoing—developing all the time—and is focused on [the attacker’s] motivation, his preparation, and associates,” said Mark Rowley, the acting deputy commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, in a comment included in the USA Today report.

The London attack marks a sad one-year anniversary. On March 22, 2016, a series of coordinated suicide bombings in Belgium killed dozens and injured hundreds more, including four Mormon missionaries.

Missionaries Mason Wells, Richard Norby, Dresden Empey, and Fanny Clain were all seriously injured in a bomber's blast while waiting at the airport. The three men have finished their missions and continue in their yearlong recovery. Sister Clain, meanwhile, serves in the Ohio Cleveland Mission and is expected to undergo additional treatment for her injuries.