WEST JORDAN, Utah, April 18, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — West Jordan police indicated Sunday that they may have a break in the investigation of a married couple shot to death early Saturday in a struggle with an assailant inside their home.
“Progress is being made,” said a tweet from WJPD at noon. “We aren’t in position to comment specifically in the case as this time. We want to maintain the integrity of the investigation. We hope to have some positive news soon.”
The victims have been identified as Kathy Butterfield, 30, and Anthony “Tony” Butterfield, 31. Their three small children were not injured in the attack.
The suspect, who police believe was seriously wounded during the assault, remains at large. Within minutes of the double murder investigators followed a blood trail down the street which came to a sudden end, leading police to conclude he had left in a vehicle, but was perhaps gravely wounded.
“Our deepest condolences to their loved ones and those close to them. Investigation continues,” says an earlier tweet from the WJPD. “We are working hard to solve this terrible crime!”
Sgt. J.C. Holt, West Jordan Police Department, told Gephardt Daily that police arrived shortly after a 1:15 a.m. call to dispatch, in which a neighbor said she heard gunshots and a woman screaming.
Officers responded to the scene, near 7000 South and 3200 West, and knocked on the door, Holt said. When no one answered, police went to the backyard and found Tony Butterfield, deceased. Entering the house, officers found Kathy Butterfield, 30, also dead. Both had been shot.
“There were also three kids inside the home, the oldest age 4, and down to infant,” Holt said. “They were not injured in any of this.”
The children are now in the care of family members, who “are fully cooperative and obviously upset, to get that phone call to come get the kids,” Holt said.
Late Saturday afternoon, extended family members released the following statement on the death of Kathy and Anthony Butterfield:
The families of Tony and Katherine C. Butterfield are devastated by the sudden passing of their loved ones. Tony and Katherine were incredible Christ-like, kind, happy, and loving parents, children, siblings and friends. 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. 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.
We ask for prayers for Tony and Katherine’s three sweet children, as well as for the many, many people who love Tony and Katherine. We are appreciative and overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support we have received. Thank you.
A GoFundMe account has been established to help provide for the couple’s three young children. As of Sunday at 1:30 p.m., that account had raised $102,378.
The GoFundMe page said: “Our hearts are broken as we mourn the tragic loss of Tony and Katherine Butterfield and are concerned what comes next for their three surviving children.
“In the early hours of Saturday morning, April 18, an intruder came into their home and despite fighting for their lives, they were brutally shot and killed while their three children, ages four and under, slept upstairs. While we are so grateful that their children were not harmed, we are devastated at the loss of their loving parents.”
The youngest child is just six months old, the page said.
The page added: “At this devastatingly difficult time, we sincerely request your generosity in making a donation, in honor of Tony and Katherine’s memory, to aid and support their beautiful little family. We know that there is nothing that we can do to bring back the parents of these dear children, but we earnestly hope that we can provide some measure of assurance and security for their future needs.”
The crime scene
Gephardt Daily was on the scene early Saturday, when police from multiple agencies were securing and searching the area. K-9s were brought in, but no suspect was located.
Police are following leads, but the identity and even the gender of the shooter or shooters has not been confirmed, Holt said.
There are signs an altercation took place prior to the shootings, he said, and the house had been “gone through.” The motive for the shootings is unknown, Holt said.
There is also evidence the shooter may have been injured with a knife. Police are asking that members of the public who know anything about the crime call dispatch, and even call in about anyone with a fresh knife injury that cannot be explained.
“We believe the suspect left the area in a car, but we don’t have information on that car,” Holt said. “We are trying to develop suspect information right now.”
Holt said police had not been called to the residence before, and the couple had no criminal history.
“It’s just a horrible case,” Holt said. “It’s just really awful.”