On Saturday morning, Tony and Katherine Butterfield were shot and killed during a home invasion at their house in West Jordan, Utah. The police have identified a suspect in the killings, 31-year-old Albert Enoch Johnson, and they asked for help from the public in locating him. The suspect’s wife has been arrested for withholding information and interfering in the investigation.
Tony and Katherine’s family posted a statement on Saturday night through the West Jordan Police Department’s Facebook page.
It reads in part: “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.”
Tony and Katherine, ages 31 and 30, were the parents of three children, all under the age of four, who were at the home during the attack but were physically unharmed. The youngest was born only six months ago.
Police Said There Were Signs of a Struggle & They Are Searching for the Killer
The West Jordan Police Department posted on Twitter about the double homicide on Saturday morning, saying it took place at the Butterfield family’s home near 3300 West 6920 South in the middle of the night. KUTV interviewed West Jordan Police Sgt. J.C. Holt about the case and the video can be found on their Facebook page.
According to Holt, police were called at around 1:15 a.m. on Saturday morning by someone in the neighborhood who reported hearing gunshots and a woman screaming. Holt said when they arrived, they found “a male in the backyard that was deceased” with what appeared to be a gunshot wound. Police on the scene said the home had signs of forced entry. When they entered, they found another victim “who was a female, who also had at least a gunshot wound.” He said he wasn’t sure how many, but both victims suffered gunshot wounds.
The police found three children in the home who were unharmed. Holt said they believe a suspect entered the home forcefully, at which point there was an altercation between the suspect and the residents. Holt believes that during the altercation the suspect was injured, “possibly with a knife.”
There were cones marking a possible blood trail from the home to a nearby street corner where it’s possible the killer had a getaway vehicle parked. Holt added: “We’re not sure of the motive behind it. We know that two people were killed, now we need to find out the who and the why.” The investigation is still ongoing.
Tony and Katherine Married Shortly After Returning Home From Church Missions
A GoFundMe account was set up by friends of the couple to raise funds for the couple’s orphaned children, “to aid and support their beautiful family.”
The fundraiser description reads in part:
Tony & Katherine were young and in love for several years before they both served LDS missions and married shortly after they both returned from their service. They created a beautiful family and a wonderful life for their 3 children; with the most recent addition arriving just 6 months ago.
One donor described Katherine as “a ray of sunshine with a vibrant smile and a beautiful singing voice.” She was a loving mother who enjoyed every moment she spent with her loved ones. Tony was “a talented craftsman, always with a project up his sleeve” who worked on a lot of renovations in the home. He was very active and enjoyed spending family time outdoors, “snowboarding, fishing, camping or doing a backyard bonfire.”
The two worked hard at setting up their own landscaping company and worked together in managing the business. The post says: “Our hearts are broken as we mourn the tragic loss of Tony & Katherine Butterfield and are concerned what comes next for their three surviving children.”