Arizona family found dead in suspected murder-suicide

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2012

Five members of the same Jewish family have been found dead in Arizona in what police are believed to be treating as a murder-suicide case.

Yafit Butwin, an Israeli who moved to the US after she got married, was found dead along with her husband James and their three children, aged between seven and 16 .

The bodies were found severely burnt in a car in the Arizona desert on the weekend.

It is unclear what exactly happened but according to reports the couple were heading for a divorce, experiencing financial troubles.

Mr Butwin was apparently suffering from a brain tumour. Mrs Butwin filed for divorce last September and was seeking half of his assets in the settlement. It has also emerged that before his death Mr Butwin sent a colleague a letter explaining how to run the business in his absence.

Robert Kempton, a neighbour, said what had happened was "totally unexpected to the point of almost being unbelievable".

He said: "We'll choose to remember them in the wonderful, positive light that we knew them."

A police spokesman said they had not yet identified who was responsible.

Last updated: 12:47pm, June 7 2012