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Case of murder-suicide of Jewish Phoenix family develops

JointMedia News Service

June 8, 2012 | 10:56 am

A burnt SUV in Vekol Valley about 35 miles south of Phoenix, Ariz. on June 2. Photo by REUTERS/Pinal County Sheriff's Office/Handout

A burnt SUV in Vekol Valley about 35 miles south of Phoenix, Ariz. on June 2. Photo by REUTERS/Pinal County Sheriff's Office/Handout

While it has not been officially determined as such, police are convinced the case of James Butwin and his family was a carefully planned murder-suicide, the Tucson Citizen reported.

A charred SUV was discovered 35 miles in the desert outside of Phoenix, said to contain the bodies of James Butwin, his wife Yafit Butwin and children Malissa, 16; Daniel, 14; and Matthew, 7. Evidence uncovered in the investigation showed that the Butwins were in divorce proceedings, and James Butwin was battling a brain tumor.

The family were active members of the Jewish community in Tempe, Arizona. “He was totally soft-spoken and a devout Jew. He was very peaceful like that, very even-keeled,” said Steffani Meyers, a lawyer who handled Butwin’s business deals from 2001 until 2007 according to theTuczon Citizen. “He was like, ‘Oh, it will work itself out.’ I never saw a flash of anger from him.”

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