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Woman found dead in trash bin was headed to casino, mother says

Updated Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 | 3:20 p.m.

The mother of a 28-year-old Las Vegas woman found dead Tuesday in a garbage bin, said her daughter was last seen late Saturday night before heading to a casino.

Metro Police responded Tuesday to a report of a body found near Nellis Air Force Base. The woman appears to have died of “non-natural causes,” a police statement issued Friday said.

She was identified by the Clark County Coroner’s Office as Josephine Butler, who was known by friends and family as “Josy.”

Butler’s mother, Sheryl Dumitru, reached by phone Friday, said she last saw her daughter Saturday night when she dropped her off at a friend’s house.

“She told her friend she was going to the Longhorn Casino and that she was going to meet one of her friends at the Longhorn. I don’t know the name of who she was meeting,” Dumitru said.

The Longhorn Casino is at 5288 Boulder Highway.

Butler’s mother and brother, Eric Butler, said Butler was found in the garbage bin by two men who notified police.

Dumitru said her daughter worked as a computer technician and was frequently called upon by her friends to fix their computers.

“She had so many friends but as far as hobbies, it was mostly computers. That’s her world,” Dumitru said.

Dumitru said she became worried by Sunday, because Butler, who leaves behind a 7-year-old daughter, called her every night and would not have failed to pick up her daughter, whom she left with a friend.

“She would never leave her daughter like that, and she calls every night for prayers,” said Dumitru, who filed a missing persons report with Metro on Tuesday. “I was worried right away. After I realized she hadn’t come home, I knew something was wrong.”

Butler, a fourth-generation Las Vegan, was an alumna of Silverado High School.

“She was a happy, bubbly person,” Dumitru said. “She was the type of person who was your friend at first look. She loved everybody and everybody loved her.”

Cindy Skinner, who posted a message on Butler’s Facebook page after her death, said she met Butler a year ago and the two quickly became friends.

“She was just a fun person,” Skinner said. “She always had a good sense of humor, and she loved her daughter immensely.”

Skinner said she saw Butler Saturday and “everything seemed fine.”

The Clark County coroner has not determined the cause and manner of death, and the case remains under investigation.

A memorial fund to benefit Butler’s daughter and a memorial service are planned, but details have not been announced.

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