TEMPE, AZ - Tempe police on Wednesday released the chilling 911 call, which sparked a frantic search for a Valley family killed in a murder-suicide.
"911, what's your emergency," asked a 911 dispatcher.
"We think there's been a suicide," responded the caller identified only as Tom.
During the 911 call, on June 4, Tom told the operator he was James Butwin's business partner and was calling from inside Butwin's residence on South Kenneth Place in Tempe.
"We just got a disturbing note," Tom told the 911 operator. "He left a key and we came here and there's blood on the mattress and he's not here, his wife's missing."
The 911 dispatcher quickly realizes the caller was apparently at the scene of a terrible tragedy.
"I don't want you to touch anything," said the 911 operator.
"There's blood in both kids rooms," Tom explained sadly. "There's blood everywhere," he said.
"0kay, why don't you step outside Tom, this is probably a crime scene," sighed the 911 operator.
The caller went on to explain that Butwin and his wife, Yufit, were in the middle of bitter divorce. He added Butwin was also sick, "And he's had terminal--not terminal--but a pretty good size brain tumor."
Butwin's business partner continued telling the 911 operator that he became concerned when Butwin didn't show up for work and sent his assistant, at a real estate development firm, a troubling note.
"Just explaining to her what to do with all his important business documents," the caller said. "Who to mail checks to just stuff like that and she said to him, 'Hey this doesn't sound good, this sounds like you're closing up'."
Family and friends of the Butwin's would soon learn their fears were correct.
A burning SUV, found two days before the 911 call by a U.S. Border Patrol agent, contained the badly burned bodies of Butwin, his wife and their three children, Malissa 16, Daniel 14 and Matthew 7.
Tempe police say Butwin killed his family in their Tempe home before loading their bodies into the SUV, driving to the desert of Pinal County and torching the vehicle.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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