Grisly Scene in Arizona Desert Linked to Missing Family of 5

Burned Out SUVI am never going to understand how people kill kids. I don't know if I actually want to understand. But I do want to know how a burned out SUV found in the Arizona desert this week, with what police think might be the bodies of three missing kids and their parents from Tempe inside, got there.

The cops in Pinal County say the Ford SUV is definitely the one owned by James and Yafit Butwin, a couple who have been missing, along with their 16-year-old daughter and their sons, aged 10 and 7, for several days. What they can't decide is whether James killed his family or a Mexican drug cartel did the awful deed.


But is there really a better option here? I'm not suggesting cops give up their investigation, but if the autopsy (which could take as much as a month because the bodies themselves were burned) proves the Butwins' three kids were in there, that means someone decided to murder children in cold blood. There's something to be said for a society that protects its young and infirm above all others. It's not perfect, but it's certainly more civilized.

If it was a murder/suicide plot put together by dad -- which it might be considering the Butwins were going through a divorce, and he had both financial and health problems -- it's infinitely more sad, of course. Parents are supposed to protect their children from harm, not cause their deaths. But if it is some random cartel, we have yet another group of adults who have violated the sanctity of childhood.

The only "good" option here would be a surprise announcement that the bodies found in the Butwins' own car aren't the Butwins. But it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Instead we're left with the likelihood that three kids are dead ... and that's not something we can ever really explain.

What do you think happened in the desert of Arizona to this family?


Image via Pinal County Sheriff's Office

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