NAMPA — A married couple found dead in a Nampa home Saturday likely died of a murder-suicide, according to the Nampa Police Department.
Philip J. Butler, 29, and Kaylynn M. Butler, 27, were found dead by a family member who had gone to check on them at their house on the 10 block of South Fairview Street after not hearing from them for a few days, according to a press release from police.
Both died of gunshot wounds, but police have not announced who fired the gun. The two were the only ones in the house at the time of the deaths, according to Nampa Police. Nampa Police Sgt. Tim Riha said detectives’ investigations indicate Philip Butler first shot his wife and then himself, but there is a possibility the death was a double-suicide.
Riha confirmed the couple had five children, two of whom were Philip Butler’s from a previous marriage. The children were not at the house at the time of the deaths, Riha said.
“I could’ve sworn I heard gun shots Thursday night,” Kayle Olson, a neighbor of the Butlers, told the Idaho Press. She was sleeping at the time and awoke to a loud noise, something she thought could have also been fireworks lit off by neighbors.
It’s unlikely detectives will receive more information to confirm who fired the gun in the deaths, Riha said.
Olson said Nampa Police had responded once in recent weeks to the same house. She said the road was blocked off, and police were surrounding the house. Riha confirmed police had responded to the same house the Butlers died in but said he could not expand on why police were there.
A probable cause affidavit released to the Idaho Press states that on Aug. 28 Nampa investigators responded to a house where Kaylynn and Philip Butler lived. Police were there following reports of sexual abuse from a girl under the age of 10. Both Philip and Kaylynn Butler were suspects, according to the affidavit, but neither had been charged with a crime.
Police tried to contact Philip Butler over the course of an hour starting at 6:35 p.m. Aug. 28 by knocking on the doors and using a loudspeaker. Eventually both Butlers came out of the house, and Philip Butler was placed into handcuffs and taken to the station for an interview. The affidavit states that as Philip Butler was being taken to the police department, he passed where Kaylynn Butler was standing in a nearby parking lot, rolled down the window and screamed, “Don’t tell them anything, get an attorney.” The affidavit states that Philip Butler sounded forceful in how he yelled to his wife.
While at the police department, the affidavit alleges that Philip Butler said he wanted an attorney. As an officer was leaving the room, he reportedly yelled out and into the hall, “Kaylynn, attorney,” who the affidavit states was being interviewed two rooms away.
Philip Butler was subsequently charged with felony intimidating a witness. He was set to appear in court on Sept. 19.
MURDER-SUICIDE RATES IN IDAHO
The recent case adds to a growing number of domestic violence deaths in Idaho this year. From Jan. 1 to July 9, 11 people in Idaho died due to domestic violence, including murder-suicide incidents, according to a previous Idaho Press report. That compares to 17 deaths in all of 2017 and 10 deaths in 2016.
In the Treasure Valley alone, there have been three deaths ruled murder-suicides this year, including the Butlers. In July, Daniel “Sky” Cobb, 46, shot and killed his girlfriend, Crystal Wilson, 36, before he shot himself in Meridian, according to police. Both died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Ada County Coroner’s Office. The suspected murder-suicide happened in the 2200 block of Horse Creek Road in Meridian.
At the end of May, a Canyon County Sheriff’s Office investigation indicated that Ian S. Stone, 37, shot Jaclyn D. Zabel, 29, and then turned the gun on himself, according to a press release from Canyon County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Marv Dashiell.
Three people died in southeast Idaho after domestic disputes in July, according to police. Two of them were a couple — Paul Mueller, 65, who police believe killed his girlfriend, Lora Skeahan, 48, before killing himself in Kimberly. A Bingham County man, Eugene Ruff, 63, shot and killed his wife, police believe. He has been charged with first-degree murder.
In March, Kymberlee Larsen, a 22-year-old mother, was killed in a domestic violence stabbing in Nampa. According to the sheriff’s office, Evan C. Bashir, 29, broke into a Nampa house and stabbed Larsen and Larsen’s sister and mother. Her sister, Chelsea Larsen, 27, and her mother, Julianna Flowers, 57, recovered from their injuries.
Bashir was shot and killed by one of two responding Nampa Police officers.