Utah Couple Murdered By Home Invaders With Tiny Children Inside Home
West Jordan, UT – A young couple was murdered by home invaders on Saturday while their three tiny children were asleep inside the home.
The incident occurred just before 1:15 a.m. on April 19 at the home of 31-year-old Tony Butterfield and his wife, 30-year-old Katherine Butterfield, in the family’s home near 3300 West 6920 South, KUTV reported.
Police were summoned to the address by a neighbor who called 911 and reported having heard gunshots and a woman screaming.
West Jordan Police Sergeant J.C. Holt said that somebody broke into the Butterfields’ home and there were obvious signs that a struggle had taken place inside the home, KUTV reported.
There was a boot print on the door where it had been kicked in, KSTU reported.
Both of the Butterfields had been fatally shot, KUTV reported.
Police said Tony’s body was found in the back yard and Katherine was found inside the home, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Their children – ranging in age from six months to 4 years old – were inside the home and uninjured.
Sgt. Holt said investigators believed the suspect had rifled things inside the house but police have no idea what, if anything, was ultimately taken, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Authorities said they believed the couple had fought back against the home invaders with a knife, and said it they thought the suspect or suspects could have been seriously injured.
Sgt. Holt said that blood evidence had led investigators to think Tony may have fought with the intruder in the backyard, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Police believe the killer fled the scene in a car, but they do not have any suspects.
Sgt. Hold said that police have not yet determined the suspect’s motive for the home in invasion and killings, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
“We’re not sure of the motive behind it,” the sergeant said. “We know that two people were killed, now we need to find out the who and the why."
All three Butterfield children are staying with family members, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Travis Osborne stopped by to pay his respects and told KSTU that he had been friends with Tony since the two met in college 11 years ago.
“This is the first time I’ve been back to the house since the news,” Osborne, whose brother lived next door to the Butterfields, said. “[It’s] pretty rough, pretty rough being here.”
“We’ve been friends for a long time,” he said. “Tony and Katherine were just good salt of the earth kind of people.”
Osborne said he didn’t believe the news at first, KSTU reported.
“My brother called me at 4:00 in the morning Saturday morning and I thought he was kidding with me,” Osborne said as he sniffed and started to get choked up. “I thought he was playing some sort of a joke or something. I didn’t believe him.”
He said the Butterfields ran a landscaping business they had build together.
West Jordan police released a statement on behalf of the Butterfield family, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
“Tony and Katherine were incredible Christ-like, kind, happy, and loving parents, children, siblings and friends,” the statement read. “We mourn their loss, but are grateful for the sure knowledge we have that we will be with them again.”
"We hold no ill-will towards to the perpetrator(s) and pray for them and their families,” the statement continued. “We are grateful for the immediate and professional work of the West Jordan Police and other investigators, and are confident in their abilities to bring this case to resolution."