The Main Stream

Jun 10, 2012 5:56 PM

Nanny says burned Ariz. family seemed idyllic

PHOENIX (AP) - A nanny who worked for a family of five whose bodies were found burned beyond recognition in the desert 35 miles south of Phoenix says she's struggling to reconcile the people she knew with the news of their gruesome deaths.

Maria Asimakis tells The Arizona Republic that she spent nearly every night with the Butwin family in 2004, chauffeuring the three children to practices and activities, helping with homework and preparing meals.

Police believe 47-year-old James Butwin shot his wife and three children, ages 7, 14 and 16, and drove them out to the desert before lighting their SUV on fire and shooting himself.

The bodies were found on June 2 and positively identified late last week.

Asimakis says the family's life six years ago was seemingly idyllic and that she was never made to feel like the help.


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