Bodies found in burned vehicle confirmed as missing Tempe family
James and Yafit Butwin with their children, Daniel, Malissa and Matthew By Jennifer Thomas
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Authorities have confirmed that the five bodies found inside a burned vehicle in Pinal County are a missing Tempe family.
Tempe police Sgt. Jeff Glover said Friday that dental records showed three of the bodies were Malissa, Daniel and Matthew Butwin. The bodies of their parents, James and Yafit Butwin, were identified on Thursday.
The medical examiner's office was able to determine that Yafit and the three children were killed by gunshot wounds. Their deaths have been ruled as a homicide.
James suffered what was described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His death has been ruled a suicide.
The five bodies were found inside their burned vehicle in the Vekol Valley area on Saturday.
Police said two guns were also found in the vehicle, one of which matched shell casings found in the Butwins' home.
Police said James left a suicide note with his business partner and another one at his office.
Friends said the couple were going through a divorce and a rough financial patch. James had also been dealing with a recurring brain tumor, according to his divorce attorney.
Psychiatrists say a brain tumor can cause someone to act out of character. Butwin had no history of domestic violence.