Utah Couple Killed at Home While 3 Kids Slept Remembered at Funeral Service: 'Miss Them Terribly'
“They created a wonderful life together,” one family member said at the small Saturday service
The Utah couple who were fatally shot in their home as their children slept were remembered by their loved ones with a private funeral and memorial.
“We will miss them terribly, but will feel their presence daily. As hard as this is, we have faith that we will all be together again someday,” Mark and Kathy Butterfield wrote of their son, Tony, and daughter-in-law, Katherine, in a letter read at their funeral Saturday, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.
Tony and Katherine Butterfield’s families came together to lay the couple to rest in a private memorial service in West Jordan on Saturday, the Deseret News reports. The service was small in attendance due to the coronavirus, but those who could not attend in person sent in letters, watched online and held their own private services wherever they were, according to the newspaper.
The Butterfields were fatally shot early in the morning as their three children, ages 4 and under, slept in their West Jordan home on April 18, according to police. The couple were allegedly targeted by a man they knew who barged into their home with a gun and shot them as they fought for their lives.
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Their family described them as ambitious, devoted and “goofy.” The couple, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were first best friends before they began dating, and they married in 2013.
“They created a wonderful life together,” Katherine’s sister, Emily Hurst, read from a letter.
While the funeral service was small, neighbors and friends of the Butterfields created a memorial on a fence near the couple’s home, ABC4 reports. Covered with turquoise balloons, photographs, notes and prayers, the fence has been a place for those close to the couple to pay their respects.
The couple was allegedly killed by 31-year-old Albert Johnson, according to police. His wife, Sani Johnson, has been charged with tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice.
During an interview with detectives, Sani allegedly said her husband had attempted to get a job at the Butterfields’ family landscaping company, West Jordan Police Department Sgt. J.C. Holt tells PEOPLE.
Johnson was arrested in Sacramento, California — where he had once served time in prison — on Wednesday. It is unclear if Johnson has been charged or if he or Sani have an attorney.
Now, as the Butterfields’ family awaits justice, they are determined to raise the couple’s three children surrounded by love.
“Those children will always feel the love from them as they grow up, because I know in my heart they will always be around them,” Hurst read from a letter, according to the Tribune. “Between the two families together, we will never let them forget the love Tony and Katherine had for them.”