Thirty-year-old Austin Butler, the Phoenix, Arizona, father convicted of killing his wife, two of his daughters, and a family friend, has allegedly confessed his reason for sparing one of his children. According to reports, Butler told police that he didn’t kill his youngest child because she took after him and not her mother, Dasia Patterson.
The gruesome murders took place in April when Smith confronted his wife after he came home from a bar.
Sadly, Smith didn’t stop there. After fatally shooting Patterson, Smith turned his attention to two of their little girls.
Smith drove to his brother’s apartment after the murders and made contact with a family friend, who tried to calm him down.
Police eventually found Smith and arrested him a short time later after he drove away from the scene.
Just five months before the murders, Smith had been referred to the Phoenix police for psychiatric care and even had his guns taken away, though he later got them back. Police had been made aware of Smith after someone reported that he was yelling that people were trying to kill him, and police visited his home.
Only now has the father revealed why he didn’t kill his 3-year-old daughter that night in April.
The toddler, who has not been named publicly, was allegedly spared because she “reminded him of himself,” authorities said. She is the only remaining child of Smith, who was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison.
At the time of the murders, Patterson’s family was said to be devastated by the senseless loss of the young woman and her oldest daughters.
“We are in anguish over the senseless loss of our beloved Dasia and her young children,” noted a statement obtained by People. “As we try to process our profound grief, our focus is on the welfare of her sole surviving three-year-old daughter. She just lost her mother and sisters, and we want nothing more than for her to be with her family right now.”