Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Arizona Sheriff Jumped The Gun Burned Bodies in SUV May Have Been Murder Suicide

Borderland Beat



.By Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Richard A. Serrano, Los Angeles Times
Arizona authorities now believe five bodies recovered from a torched SUV dumped in the desert 35 miles south of Phoenix over the weekend were not victims of Mexican cartel violence, but rather a family killed in a murder-suicide.

The white Ford Expedition was seen fleeing from a U.S. Border Patrol agent early Saturday on Interstate 8 in the Vekol Valley area, a known smuggling corridor between Phoenix and Tucson.

About four hours later, Border Patrol agents found the SUV several miles north of the highway in the desert, charred, with four bodies in the cargo area and a fifth in the back seat.

Police in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe announced Tuesday that the SUV was registered to a local family, James and Yafit Butwin.

The couple and their three children were reported missing Monday by an acquaintance who received a note from them, and after police called to the Butwin home found "suspicious and concerning evidence," authorities began investigating the disappearance as a murder-suicide, according to a statement Tuesday.

"We do not believe there are any outstanding suspects involved in this case," Tempe police said.

James Butwin, 47, was a licensed real estate broker married to Yafit Butwin, 40, an interior designer who listed herself on Facebook as "separated."

"They had some marital issues. ... They were going through the process of getting a divorce," Tempe Police Sgt. Jeff Glover said, although he said the couple had been living together.

Glover said finances "might have played a role" in the suspected murder-suicide.

"There were some kind of financial issues going on with the business," he said of James Butwin's real estate work, adding, "They were under some financial duress."

Last Friday, Yafit Butwin, who described herself as Israeli, posted a photograph of herself on Facebook with her husband and three children, Malissa, Daniel and Matthew.

"Happy Birthday Jim," she wrote. "I am so proud of my three children:) and they know why."

The bodies recovered from the SUV were autopsied by the Pima County medical examiner's office Monday, but investigators were unable to identify them or to determine their genders because of burn damage, according to a statement by Pinal County sheriff's investigators.

Federal law enforcement officials, as well as local authorities, had theorized that the deaths were connected to the drug trade and possibly another example of violence spreading from Mexico across the Southwest border into the United States.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu initially said on Facebook that the deaths might be linked to a "violent drug cartel," adding a barb directed at former Arizona governor-turned-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: "The border is NOT more secure than ever, Ms. Napolitano!"

But after the SUV was traced to the missing family Tuesday, Babeu's office backpedaled.

In a statement, they noted that federal officials had also speculated the SUV may have been torched by the Zetas criminal gang but that "the Pinal County Sheriff's Office is not able to confirm this information as our investigation is still ongoing."

"The investigation is definitely not drug-related," Glover said.


UPDATE:


Responding to critics who claim he was too quick to blame drug smugglers for the deaths of five people found in a burned-out SUV last weekend, an Arizona sheriff said Wednesday that he was merely sharing timely information about the case and never formally concluded that the deaths were the work of a cartel.
"There were no conclusions given ... there was no pronouncement," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told The Associated Press in his first comments since evidence surfaced suggesting the deaths may have been a murder-suicide, not cartel violence.
Eric Olson, associate director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center's Mexico Institute in Washington, D.C., said that he can understand why sheriff's investigators would consider a cartel as the perpetrator of Saturday's crime, given that the bodies were found in a smuggling corridor in the desert at an odd time of day.
"But it's incredibly important to reserve judgment until there's more conclusive evidence, as always is the case," he said. Such a gruesome, high-profile crime typically isn't in the best interest of smugglers who want to stay in business and avoid arrest, he added.

Rad Havana's post on Borderland Beat Forum HERE

47 comments:

  1. See before the racial comments start coming, that crazy ass killings happen here too, sure it's not 49 bodies or 72 but how often do you hear a person murdering his own family? Only in America!!!!

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  2. Here we go..disinforming the public just to hide tha fact that the cartel violence is and has been in the US already.

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    1. So what are you saying? That there really is no family who went missing in Tempe and that this is just a completely made up story? The only disinformation was from this has been sheriff who's managed to stay in office from the typical scare tactic strategy and this time the strategy backfired.

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  3. *Insert foot in mouth*

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  4. This guy has it right. --- "Here we go..disinforming the public just to hide tha fact that the cartel violence is and has been in the US already."

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  5. for the first commentator about people going crazy and killing thier own families what state do you want me to start with??
    especially white people are going crazy over loosing jobs and houses so spare us the its not really happening that offten crap
    in san diego ca a lady shot and killed her husband and 15 year old daughter over just looosing her job

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  6. Stick head in sand...

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  7. thats a bunch of crap, that smells like cartel cover up. " Los Zetas "Dont give us heat!! Here take some money and lie lie lie!!" "Sherrif "Oh yeah ill take that and let me make these poor victims of cartel violence apear to be a bunch of inbred mofukas who killed them selfs to take heat of you guys"

    Come on seriously!?! This shits geting redundent, Cover up after cover up and the more it happens the stupid' er the stories get. Geez!!

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    1. You clearly watch to Manu movies,dumb idiot...it doesn't work like that,they ain't that powerful.!!.........-Paco Jerte-

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  8. .time for babeu to take his size medium police uniform off and walk away.

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    1. That or he should shut the f__!! Up and really find out what happen before opening his mouth.

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  9. federal investigators are not stupid. if they speculated that zeta may have torched it then we must assume through investigations of the scene that the vehicle was torched from the outside.

    ~~~el spaceio~~~

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  10. Cover up and cover up? Can you really be that stupid? Do you not understand this type of shit happens everyday in the U.S

    http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0306.pdf

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  11. Babeu seems to have an agenda, he is always hyping things up down there, it's very dangerous and immoral thing to do, infer this kind of fear and anger in people, by implying their lives may be in jeopardy from cartel killers, to further his own agenda.

    These murder/suicides in the family, relating to financial pressure are very common in Southern California for the last two years, at least a dozen incidents.

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  12. Lol how can you blame anyone for speculating that this was cartel violence? An suv running from border patrol, later found burned beyond recognition with multiple bodies inside... not a big jump to immediately think it was cartel related.

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  13. @ June 6, 2012 12:00 PM - No, we are saying that it was not a murder suicide.

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  14. Wasn't there some crazy ass deputy who shot himself and blamed the "illegals" last year? or the year before? not sure when. Arizona is full of crazy people lol...

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  15. LOL ... See ... Ppl want this to be true instead of the real facts... Mexican Drug Cartels aint stupid they know not to enrage U.S. officals they know .. But everytime a crackd out guy kills or burns ppl they say spillover violence ! LOL ... Politic bullshit..

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  16. Is this the same guy that had his gay Mexican ex boyfriend deported

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  17. Arizona is run by nothing but racists people.. so any murder, robbery, or crime the illegals(wetbacks) did it.. this family went missing Saturday.. no cartel cover up here.. Babeu is an idiot.. he wants to get all the old white racist roudy... So they can come up with this stupid ass anti MEXICAN laws...

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  18. If it pans out...and it looks that way, that it is the missing people, the sheriff has to go. Az and other border states may not fit the tight definition of "spill over" but cartel activiy in the US has long been present. Most prominent along the border states.

    But for an official to lie or best case jump the gun in sending out misleading statements, that does great harm as people will doubt reports that are valid....Time to kick the Sheriff OUT...

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  19. if it walks like a duck......

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  20. You think it was far stretch for him to suspect this was cartel related? I don't think the sheriff should "go" because he made a mistake. He is not part of the problem.

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  21. We need to legalize it. And then tax it! Like we did with Liquor!

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  22. Next he'll say it involved terrorist because the victim was from Palestine.

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  23. I agree 100% he a public figure,and he's quick to point his finger..What credibility does he have now? And what about lying about threatening to deport his boyfriend.I don't think that we should have to second guess what he says anymore.there are other people more qualified

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    1. Someone had to kill this family I don't think they were responsible for this1 impossible

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  24. There's been multiple multiple homicides of Hispanics in pacific north west and no press conection at all

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  25. Yeah, you guys are all correct, Mexican cops are flawless! Fucking idiots

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  26. Makes me laugh to hear Mexicans talking about racism.Without doubt the most comments on here with racist language come from Mexicans.
    True or untrue?
    Where are the white racist comments?

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  27. Is funny the first time this came out every one came.out talking ma shit Mexicans this Mexicans that it must be. Cartel ,but once the information is revealed all of the sudden ! Conspiracy ! Cover up ! Come on people this just show the commo sense n rationality north Americans have. Shame shame.

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  28. Build the border wall NOW!!!!

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  29. This guy babeu is a trouble maker, and a fruitcake!!!

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  30. My-my-my, If this guy is so bad,why is he still there?

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  31. It is real easy for some FOOL to call for this man to be fired while sitting behind his computer ANONYMOUS and not having to fight against these Cartels..
    Shame on you!
    You know who I am speaking about..

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  32. I never said fired try to read it slower if that helps, I said he should walk away,he is a public servant and he must follow a code of ethics.not make accusations on his Facebook page...when you own political agenda is affecting the way you perform your job.its time to go...for the good of everyone!!

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  33. 12:20 PM "especially white people"? You just keep believing the "white peoples" is the causes off ur problemas.

    It's an excuse that will serve you well throughout your life. No matter what you screw up you can blame it on whites. BTW how long have you lived in Arizona? What have you done to make it better for anyone?

    If you have a problem with whites, why did you leave your country, your women, your children, your tierra?

    Some areas of Mexico are changing in major sociological ways because of all the males who have left to go to the US and have not returned. The women have been left to rebuild their society. At first, the women received remittances but those stopped as the absent men became more acclimated to the US, found partners, set up families, etc.

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  34. Its everyones fault. Anyone who uses drugs are to blame, whites blacks brown it dont matter, as long as people use drugs this shit will go on. So we can all stop pointing the finger every race is to blame.

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  35. And why woulde anybody want to cover this up if it was cartel violence? If it really was cartel related this woulde benefit all those racist bastards in arizona, it woulde give the american government a reason to tighten up the border even more, and pass anti imigration laws to prevent (spill over violence) again.

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  36. June 7, 2012 2:38 PM .
    Brother don't bother,you are wasting your breath.
    Mexicans make the most racist comments on here all the time and then turn around and call us racist.We have let ourselves be brainwashed by political correctness.I have never used racism on here against Mexicans,but man reading it all the time,and the hatred they have for whites and the US is absolutely unbelievable to me.They routinely use race,if it was the other way round can you imagine the hysteria you get?
    Face it most of them are racist and hate the US.

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  37. June 7, 2012 2:38 PM .
    Makes you sick man,to hear Mexicans spouting racist remarks against us,and for what?
    All we are doing is discussing this topic,because it doe's matter,and all you get is racist or downright spiteful comments back.
    Negativity gets negativity back,and creates hatred and then intolerance,someone wants to tell Mexicans that being racist isn't cool.

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  38. "If you have a problem with whites, why did you leave your country, your women, your children, your tierra"?
    YOU MAKE SENSE,I DOUBT YOU WILL GET AN ANSWER THAT MAKES SENSE.RACISM DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.

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  39. Di no al racismo!!!

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  40. Di no al racismo!!!
    June 7, 2012 8:59 PM
    Saludos senore,i,m with you and im white.
    NO TO RACISM

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  41. Wow! I can't believe there are assholes on here, who actually think this case is an elaborate coverup! Really? The federal gov't isn't investigating this people..Pinal county officials are and they are the last folks, who would want to admit that this isn't cartel related violence! Bad shit happens all the time in the US! Nothing new..the US is probably one of the most violent places in the world! So, all of you "spill over" advocates can kiss my ass....what's happening in Mexico (torture, dismemberment, mass murder and mass graves) is not going to happen here in the US! Get over it!

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  42. This world is going to hell...

    I'm sure they could find someone to do a better job but the dog and pony shows of politics will always trump actual real solutions. Brazil had a problems with drug violence and still do but they have the ruthless BOPE that really don't give too shits and will kill just as quick as the other side. Politically that is wrong..but IMHO it is right. The world is changing and we are getting angrier and more violent towards eachother. It isn't going to stop until we as a race are killed off. Because we can't fucking handle shit without angry and personal and thats on all levels. We don't care about the next man so why even pretend like we do.. Shit makes me sick. I really do hope we all die in 2012 cause are stupidity will eventually do us all in.

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