Police release 911 call in Butwin muder-suicide

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

TEMPE, Ariz.--In a chilling 911 call, Jim Butwin's business partner tells the operator he got a disturbing note, and believes there may have been a suicide.

The business partner called 911 after showing up at the Butwin residence on South Kenneth Place in Tempe.

"It's my business partner's house and we just got a disturbing note and he left a key and we came here," the caller said. "There's blood on the mattress and he's not here, his wife's missing, she's not answering her phone."

The 911 call, made on June 4th, likely helped link the Butwin family to a charred SUV in Vekol Valley in which five badly burned bodies were found two days earlier.

Those bodies would turn out to be Jim Butwin, his wife Yafit, and their three children Malissa, Daniel and Matthew.

Tempe police now say Butwin killed his wife and children in the Tempe house before loading their bodies into the SUV, driving to the desert of Pinal County and torching the car, then killing himself.

The caller told the 911 operator Butwin and his wife were in the midst of a divorce.

"They're in a bitter, bitter divorce," the caller said. "And he's had terminal--not terminal--but a pretty good size brain tumor."

Inside the house, he tells the operator, there is blood in the basement and in two of the children's bedrooms.

"There's blood everywhere," he said.

Police say Butwin left two suicide notes, including one he mailed to his business partner in a real estate development firm.

The partner told the 911 operator: "It was just given to his assistant, just explaining to her what to do with all his important business documents, stuff like that, who to mail checks to. She said, hey this doesn't sound good, it sounds like they're closing up."