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Teresa Butz

Teresa Butz

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The woman killed in a brutal attack in South Park early Sunday held her own in a family with eight brothers, whether it was a game of softball, tennis, or a family football game, her brother said today.The stabbing of 39-year-old Teresa Butz has sent shock waves through her neighborhood, where about 400 people packed the South Park Community Center Monday night and heard police describe her slaying as "one of those types of crimes that tears at the fabric of a community."Butz was stabbed along with her partner, a 36-year-old woman who was released Monday from Harborview Medical Center.The attacker, who entered through an open window, remains at large.The couple "were just about to get married," said neighbor Christine Cherif.Seattle police through most of Monday continued to call the attack random, but officials Monday night said it's too early to rule out a hate crime and that the sexual-minority task force has taken an interest in the case.Interim Police Chief John Diaz said the 3 a.m.

attack at the house in the 700 block of South Rose Street was the most brutal crime he and his officers have seen in some time and vowed to put every available resource into catching the man.Detectives will be able to catch him through "science, good police work and community," Diaz said, and urged anyone with information to call detectives at 206-684-5550, or King County Crime Stoppers at 206-343-2020.

Tips can also be texted to "crimes" (274637).Butz grew up in South St.

Louis, the ninth of 11 children, said her brother, Tim Butz, 41, a grade-school teacher who lives in a suburb of St.

Louis.Teresa Butz attended Catholic schools and later earned a business degree from the University of Missouri-St.

Louis, her brother said.Tim Butz said his sister worked in the cruise-line industry for years, in part because of her love of travel.

She eventually settled in Seattle in the late 1990s.She most recently worked for a company that provides office space, he said.She and her partner were preparing to hold a commitment ceremony in September and planned to travel to Barcelona, Spain to celebrate Teresa Butz' 40th birthday in October, her brother said."Teresa had a taste for life," her brother said.

"She did more in 39 years — I couldn't keep up with her."Last year, Butz joined the board of directors of the Compass Center, a social-service agency that helps low-income and homeless people find housing and other services.Rick Friedhoff, the center's executive director, said she threw herself into activities, heading up a Christmas effort to give gifts to 40 occupants of Hammond House, a women's shelter on South Washington Street.

Friedhoff described her as "a person who is extremely compassionate and dedicated and really believed in the common good." Board member Bob Kuehn called her death "a huge, huge loss.""I just don't even want to think about it, it hurts that bad," he said.Police on Monday night released a description and sketch of the suspect.He was described as black, in his late 20s to early 30s, about 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, with a thin, muscular build, a thin mustache and "blotchy" skin.Residents at Monday's meeting were tense and emotional, and many said they were scared.

"People are still kind of numb," Cherif said.Next-door neighbor Jane Hudson was in tears as the meeting wrapped up."I'm still in shock," she said.Steve Miletich: 206-464-3302 or [email protected]; Phillip Lucas: 206-515-5632 [email protected]; Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 [email protected] staff reporter Charles E.

Brown and news researcher David Turim contributed to this report.
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