Investigations

Where is Charles Butler?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Florida Businessman Charles Butler always dreamed of returning to live in the city where he was born.

"I've been wanting to come here for years, so now's my chance," he said in a video recording.

Last Summer, Butler realized his dream coming back to New York to spend more time with his daughter and with his new girlfriend whom he met months earlier on the internet.

Hoffer: "We're you and Charles happy?"
Anna Lioznov/Girlfriend: "Yes, we cared about each other."
Hoffer: "What did the future hold?"
Anna: "He told me he wanted to be with me. He said I loved you and want to be with me and the next day he disappears."

It was the first time Charles had stayed overnight at Anna Lioznov's Brighton Beach apartment. The next morning, Anna says she said goodbye, and then left for work. She would never see Charles again.

Hoffer: "You think he may still be alive?"
Anna: "He may be. No one saw him dead. I didn't. Nobody did."

"Somebody doesn't just disappear," his daughter Molly Butler said.

Butler believes someone probably killed her father. She says he would never abandon his family whom he was in contact with every day.

Besides she says, he was so happy being back in New York and back in love. "Absolutely. No reason for my dad to ever leave or be mad or just not talk to her again. Like it didn't make sense, so I immediately called the cops," Butler said.

But because there was no evidence of foul play, the NYPD deemed Butler's disappearance as a Missing Person's Case. They brought his girlfriend in for questioning, twice. She says police had a lot of questions about her former boyfriend, who lives nearby with their son.

Hoffer: "They were asking you about him?"
Anna: "Yeah, I said talk to him. And they say we will talk to him, but first we talk to you. And they ask me one hour about him, his family his children about everything they need to know."

Hoffer: "Did they finally talk to him?"
Anna: "I have no idea. He never talked to me about this."

Police never did speak to him. He is not a suspect and the case remains a missing person's case. A video camera did record both Anna and Charles entering the apartment that night last September; it shows Anna left the next morning, but there's no video of him leaving. It's possible he left through a back exit, where the security camera is broken.

"They can't find his cell phone. They can't find a body. Nothing," Butler said.

She says it's clear to the family that harm has come to her father, but she says the NYPD has little interest in finding out what happened.

"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," she said.

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Tags:
charles butler, missing person, investigations, jim hoffer
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