Police say a step-father saved two girls from their mother

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LAYTON, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Layton police say a mother tried to kill two of her children to get back at her husband. Investigators say the two were fighting all day Saturday and the mother, 27-year-old Karen Butterfield, hit her breaking point.

Police say a terrible argument between Butterfield and her husband ended with the husband trying to save two girls, ages two and four, who weren’t his own.

Lieutenant Travis Lyman with the Layton Police Department says, “At one point the husband had actually come in and seen his wife with a pillow over both of the daughter’s heads, so he intervened and stopped that situation.”

Investigators say a short time later Butterfield was found in the bedroom with one of the daughters.

“At another point later in the afternoon, he came into the bedroom that she had taken one of the girls into and actually found the wife strangling one of the daughters, 4-year-old daughter,” the lieutenant says.

Reports state the step-father got the girl free.

“The woman immediately went to the two-year-old daughter and started doing the same thing and he had to physically fight with her to get her away from that daughter,” says Lt. Lyman.

Records show the husband called the police in at 6:45 p.m. where they took Butterfield into custody.

“She claimed that she was…she had just gotten to a breaking point with her relationship with him and was lashing out at the children in an effort to try and get back to him or teach him a lesson or something to that effect,” he says.

Police say also in the home was a little boy shared by the husband and wife.

The Department of Children and Family Services was called to the scene and opened their own investigation according to Layton Police.

“It is tragic when we see kids in the middle of a volatile situation like this and are actually being physically victimized,” Lt. Lyman adds.

The father of the two girls was contacted and told about the incident.

Butterfield now sits in a Davis County Jail on two counts of attempted homicide, two counts of aggravated child abuse, one count of domestic violence criminal mischief, one domestic violence assault, three counts of domestic violence in front of a child.

“We had a frank discussion with her and she did acknowledge that this happened but had explanations she felt we needed to hear why these things happened,” says Lt. Lyman.

Layton Police say there is help for those suffering from domestic violence.

“Even though sometimes it feels like you might be burning a friendship or violating some level of trust, in the end, law enforcement needs to know about it and get involved, and try and help because these things can escalate where people end up getting hurt or worse,” Lt. Lyman adds.

If you suspect child abuse or neglect is occurring, call the Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline 855.323.3237.

If you or someone you know is in a dangerous, domestic situation there is free and confidential help. Support for victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence is available 24/7: 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or at udvc.org or SVSUtah.org. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

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