June 11, 2012
Tempe family died of gunshot wounds, medical examiner determines
The Tempe, Ariz., family found burned to death in the family’s SUV died of gunshot wounds.
Police believe that James Butwin died of a gunshot wound that was likely self-inflicted, according to the Arizona Republic. His wife, Yafit, 40, and their three children—Malissa, 16; Daniel, 14; and Matthew, 7—also died of gunshot wounds, according to the Pima County chief medical examiner.
Police also found two detailed suicide notes, which has convinced them that the deaths were a murder-suicide, according to the newspaper.
The bodies were found in a burning SUV on June 2 that was registered to the Butwins but had been missing from the family home, Tempe Police said.
Butwin and his wife were going through divorce proceedings but still lived together with their children.
The Associated Press reported that James Butwin had sent his business partner detailed instructions on how to run the business without him. AP also reported that the couple was fighting in court over their assets, which caused tension. Neighbors of the Butwins also said that James had a brain tumor, according to reports.