“Thanks to all our Homicide detectives who are investigating this alarming 5 person murder and the torching of the vehicle (likely in an effort to destroy evidence). All information is pointing that this is connected to the violent drug cartel smuggling in this high smuggling area….
The border is NOT more secure than ever Ms. Napolitano!”
In this latest case, Babeu refers to the June 2 discovery of a burned-out sport utility vehicle alongside Interstate Highway 8, about 60 miles south of Phoenix. Inside the car were five bodies burned beyond recognition.
If this were a case of spillover violence from Mexico, it would be one of the most severe examples of this still rare phenomenon. But that appears to be uncertain at best.
On June 5 police in Tempe, Arizona announced that the car belonged to James Butwin, a distraught man with a brain tumor in the middle of a divorce. The Tempe force is hypothesizing that the crime was a murder-suicide.
“At an afternoon news conference, Sgt. Jeff Glover identified the victims as James and Yafit Butwin and their three children ages 7 to 16 and knocked down the theory that their deaths were linked to cartel drug smuggling.”
Babeu’s Facebook page has offered no rectification or softening of his original claim about this tragedy (or his dig at Secretary Napolitano). On June 6, the Pinal County sheriff’s office issued a release laying out reasons for its continued Mexican border-violence hypothesis, but acknowledging that it is “continuing to work with” Tempe police about “a missing persons case they are working.”
By Adam Isacson