On Sunday, Mikhail Chemyaev, 46, of Brighton Beach was arraigned on charges of second degree murder for the death of Charles Butler.
Charles Butler, 56, was reported missing in September from his girlfriend’s apartment and his body was found in the Delaware River in Port Jervis in October, but according to his daughter, Molly Butler, it took the authorities seven months to identify him, leading to the arrest of Mikhail Chemyaev.
The prosecutor said that Chemyaev stabbed Butler in the back, strangled him and then sat on his body as he drove to the Delaware Water Gap to throw the body in the river last September, reports the New York Post.
The motivation for the killing may be stemmed from Butler’s girlfriend who used to be Chernyaev girlfriend. Butler was to begin a new life with his new girlfriend and was excited to move to New York to be with her.
The police found the body in October, but they did not tell the family. The NYPD said only that the body was later identified and Molly said she had no idea they had found a body in October, let alone it was her father’s body.
As recently as May 20, WABC reported that Chernyaev was not a suspect and Butler was a missing person case.
“I don’t understand why it’s not an urgent thing now. Like here we are what seven months out. Seven months and they’re not even trying to help me find any answers now. I just don’t get it,” Molly told WABC in May.
Why it took seven months for the NYPD to get a fingerprint analyzed is curious, even when it could be assumed that the police had a pretty good idea who the body belonged to.
Molly, herself believed her father had been killed because he was in contact with her every day and now nothing.
“Absolutely no reason for my dad to ever leave or be mad or just not talk to her [girlfriend] again,” said Molly.
It is hard to understand why authorities would intentionally let a family suffer for seven months and not even mentioned that they had a body that might be their family member, as it is to understand why they let a suspect walk around for seven months.
The NYPD said there was no evidence of foul play, but wouldn’t more digging on the case be warranted especially when someone who was in constant contact with their family and showed no sign up mental history goes missing. Especially when a body turns up a month later. Was there no hint from the body or analytical thought from the NYPD that the body could have been Charles Butler?
This case warranted a speedy investigation, including a speedy fingerprint analysis turnaround not only to bring some answers to the family but also to get a violent criminal off the streets of New York.