View Mobile Site

Triple killings: Father says he took brother in despite warnings

Text Size: Small Large Medium
POSTED October 25, 2012 8:55 p.m.


RANCHO CORDOVA (AP) — A man whose wife and two children were brutally slain in their Sacramento-area home said Thursday that he allowed his younger brother to stay with the family despite strained relations and a history of violent threats.

Denis Bukhantsov described the events for the first time since he found his wife, son and daughter murdered in their duplex two days earlier. His brother, 19-year-old Grigoriy Bukhantsov, is being held in Sacramento County Jail and faces an initial court appearance Friday. No charges have been filed.

Denis Bukhantsov, who is 29, said he allowed his brother into his home to take shelter from the rain Monday.

"I let him stay at our house. He was fine, he was calm," said Bukhantsov, as he and other family members spoke to the media at a sheriff's station.

After announcing the arrest of the younger brother on Wednesday, a Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman described a history of difficult family dynamics, saying "something bad was brewing" between the young man and his relatives. His father had even requested two temporary restraining orders last year, describing direct threats against the family.

Despite those warnings, Denis Bukhantsov said he did not believe his brother would harm his family.

"It was some fear, but I never thought it would happen to my family," he said. "Maybe my parents because he was living with them."

The couple's 6-month-old son was not harmed in the attack and was carried into the news conference Thursday by his father.

Denis Bukhantsov said he doesn't believe law enforcement could have prevented his brother from hurting his family.

"I don't think (the) system can save us. He was part of our family, too. He was my brother — he is my brother," he said.

Alina's mother, Nadezhda Oliferchik, said her daughter and grandchildren were good, friendly people.

"I hope I see her in heaven and my grandchildren," the grandmother said. "They were very, very nice children. I miss you."

Records show Grigoriy Bukhantsov was on probation after spending about seven months in jail for felony burglary after breaking into a home and stealing an iPod.

According to records at the Sacramento County Superior Court clerk's office, a judge granted their father, Aleksey Bukhantsov, two temporary restraining orders against the 19-year-old in 2011, but both expired when the family did not seek to have them made permanent.

The father claimed that his son twice threatened to kill the family "like Soltys did" and "to burn the house while everyone is sleeping."

It was a reference to another horrific crime involving Sacramento's large Slavic immigrant community. Nikolay Soltys, a 27-year-old Ukrainian immigrant, was charged with killing his pregnant wife, 3-year-old son and four other relatives in Rancho Cordova in 2001. He later hanged himself in jail.

The father claimed his son was drunk, yelled profanity, hit his sister in the stomach, and punched holes into walls. He stole personal items and money. He even threatened to stab everyone, including the children in the family.

"He threatened to shoot us and stab," Aleksey Bukhantsov wrote in one of his applications.

Denis Bukhantsov described returning home from class Tuesday afternoon to find the bodies. He said he went to a neighbor's to call for help and when he went back to the house, he found the baby unharmed in his crib.

Bukhantsov said he was grateful to still have his son.

"Thank God I still have Mark," he said. "I have someone to live for. I'll try to take care of him the best I can."

The triple murders have rocked the large immigrant community that began arriving in the 1990s from the former Soviet Union to flee religious persecution. The immigrants came primarily from the Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus and other former Soviet republics, and settled in Sacramento's suburbs.

Drawn by Christian radio programs and newspapers, many of these immigrants are devout members of Baptist and Pentecostalism churches.

"They came here to make America their new home but we are not excused from unexpected tragedies that can happen," said Florin Ciuriuc, the executive director of the Slavic Community Center of Sacramento.


Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...