Man charged with Pamela Butler’s murder was her boyfriend, documents say

The man charged with the murder of 47-year-old Pamela Butler was her boyfriend and had an extensive history of violence, according to charging documents.

Reports compiled in the documents noted Jose Rodriguez- Cruz, a former soldier, was recommended to be discharged from the military in 1988 because of multiple violations in a short period of time.

While in the army Cruz, 51, was enrolled in a Domestic Violence Containment Program due to a mental status evaluation that revealed Cruz had a “Personality Disorder of the Mixed Type with histrionic, impulsive and borderline features, with unpredictable behavior, inappropriate and intense anger which lead to antisocial acts,” documents said.

Cruz referenced his time in spent in the army during his interrogation, Cruz told police he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but stressed he didn’t get “pissed” the night he and Butler had an argument, which was the last time he saw her.

According to police, Butler was publically last seen at her office on February 12, 2009. The following day she worked from home and spoke to a co-worker by phone. In the following days, Butler was not heard from. Butler, Cruz and family had Valentine’s Day plans, but Butler never appeared or was heard from again, which according to family members is out of character of Butler.

The state her family found her house in was also out of character. Butler’s relatives told police they arrived to Butler’s house and noted her alarm system wasn’t activated, her car was uncovered, her bedding was missing, and a window shade was raised on the side of the house not monitored by surveillance cameras.

However, surveillance footage from around the house showed Cruz walking in and out of the house multiple times throughout Valentine’s Day weekend across various times of day and that’s when they notified police.

Upon police investigation, they found a pair of latex gloves, black plastic consistent with a trash bag on the lower part of the window sill not monitored by cameras, car washing material and more trash bags.

Dogs were brought to the scene, 5800 block of 4th St., NW, and alerted police to the presence of human decay around Butler’s car, a red sheet that was found in the garage and the washer and dryer within the house.

Neighbors told police they witnessed a male driving the decedent’s car. In addition, another witnessed noted to a neighbor they thought it was odd that someone would be washing a car so late in the night and in such cold weather.

After noting Cruz in the surveillance footage, corroborated by family, police went to Cruz’s home.

Without being asked, Cruz immediately said he would provide blood, DNA and allow officers to check his home and car.

Cruz told police he arrived at Butler’s house on February 12 and while cleaning her house found a used condom under her bed, and suggested Butler was seeing someone else. The following day Cruz said he went to Butler’s house and was confronted about an email he sent to his ex-girlfriend. Cruz went on to say that Butler was “abusive, cruel and angry.”

Cruz noted that the argument that ensued was the worst argument he ever got into. He said it felt “like he was on the Titanic and it was sinking.” During the argument Cruz said all he could do was “sit there while tears came into his eyes,” he said, “she cut into me like a chain saw massacre.”

While speaking to police, Cruz also said he had a dream he and Butler were in Seneca Park walking. He then told police that he believes that’s where Butler is.

When police talked with Cruz’s ex girlfriend, they noted in the report her testimony was “an attempt to give the defendant an alibi.”

The police report also noted Cruz had domestic violence issues with his first wife. Cruz’s wife reported to police that while driving, Cruz slammed her head into the window two times. After said incident Cruz attempted to kidnap at gunpoint and eventually succeeded. While being held captive Cruz unsuccessfully attempted to force her to have sex with him. When Cruz was eventually caught he told police, “ If I can’t have her no one will. She’s mine.” he also went on to say “I would see herself and me dead, before she was with anyone else.”

His wife is currently missing.

Based on all of the evidence presented police arrested and charged Cruz with Butler’s premeditated first-degree murder.

Cruz is being held without bond and is expected in court April 25 for a preliminary hearing.


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