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Owner of motor home is charged with murder

The body of a woman was found in the vehicle's freezer. Police think victim may be the suspect's daughter.

October 31, 2008|My-Thuan Tran | Tran is a Times staff writer.
  • An undated DMV photo of Rebekah Butterfield,
An undated DMV photo of Rebekah Butterfield, (DMV )

Orange County prosecutors filed murder charges Thursday against a man who owned a motor home where a woman's body was found in the freezer.

The badly decomposed body was found Tuesday in the abandoned motor home after it had been towed from Capistrano Beach, authorities said.

Charges were filed against Clarence Butterfield, 55, the motor home's owner. Although investigators have yet to positively identify the body, they believe it may be that of Butterfield's 22-year-old daughter, Rebekah Butterfield, who was reported missing months ago.

The body was found by employees of AC Towing Inc. in San Clemente. No one had claimed the motor home, which had stood in the company's holding yard for 25 days and had accumulated fees.

When employees entered the motor home to conduct an inventory, they detected a strong odor. They found human remains wrapped in plastic inside a 5-foot-long horizontal freezer.

"The body was possibly in that freezer for several months to a couple years," Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said.--

my-thuan.tran@latimes.com

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