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Family sees pattern of clues in woman's disappearance

The second of two parts in Paul Duggan's excellent series about Pam Butler, the missing D.C. woman, can be read today:

Romance is for younger folks, Thelma Butler said. Until she noticed a cluster of heart-shaped red balloons on sale at a grocery store one morning, it hadn't occurred to her that Valentine's Day was near. To an elderly widow living alone, the occasion meant little.
Never again, though, will Feb. 14 be just another day on her calendar.
She waited that Saturday in her small house in Southwest Washington. And she waited and waited. Her daughter Pam Butler, 47, had called two days earlier, saying that she and her boyfriend, Jose Rodriguez-Cruz, wanted to treat her to a Valentine's dinner. They were supposed to pick her up at 3 p.m. for the early bird. Then 3 p.m. came and went.

See it all on our web site.

By Washington Post Editors  |  November 25, 2009; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  From the Post , Paul Duggan , The District , Unsolved  
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Next: When crime scene photos are too gory


I wonder if police can notify the security company and check the ex-boyfriends claims that on numerous occasions in the past Ms. Butler would not turn on her security alarm. It seems to me that if someone went to the trouble and cost to have most of the house on surveillance they wouldn’t turn the system off frequently. Also it does seem strange that she would give him keys to her house after knowing him a short time and not the password to the alarm. Also the police should have narrowed down the time frame Jose Rodriguez-Cruz claims she gave him a set of keys because a few nights before her disappearance her video surveillance shows him arriving at the house before her and waiting outside until she arrives home. Even though there is no smoking gun there is a lot of circumstantial evidence and suspicious behavior on his part. Most people would not enter someone’s home to pick up their belongs after a break up without speaking to that person, he stayed in her house for 3 hours on Friday night why didn’t he get his belongings then. Also he didn’t think it was odd on Sunday that the house appeared to be in the exact same manner from Friday and Saturday and the alarm wasn’t on and he had not heard from her in 2 days. At least by Monday he should have been curious since both her cars where there and he still didn’t hear from her when he had left her messages that he was coming and going from her house. Bottom line parts of his story doesn’t add up.

Posted by: lizzylamb66 | November 25, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Lizzy. Parts of his story don't add up. In fact, I think he pretty much told police what he did through some of his statements...."you can search the house, you won't find any blood..." which suggests stangulation. "'s not like I went back to the house to clean up..." That is exactly what he did. And if I remember correctly, didn't he say something about the police wanting to pin this murder on him because they already looked foolish in the Chandra Levy case? Her remains are in Rock Creek Park or along the GW Parkway. They will be found one day, but we will look back at his statements and see that he was actually taunting police.

Posted by: Gwiz66 | December 2, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

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