Crime Watch Daily has new details on a man police are calling a potential serial killer who hunted for his victims in the Tri-State Area.
Deep inside a wintry wooded area, the fallen leaves hide a grisly find.
A talented and vivacious 20-year-old dancer, Sarah Butler, was found strangled on December 1, 2016. Her body was recovered in a remote corner of a New Jersey town's wooded city park.
And even more shocking, these grieving parents won't be the only ones in this New Jersey town facing this tragic fate.
Beautiful Sarah Butler was their pride and joy.
"Sarah was a very sweet girl, she loved to laugh, she loved to go, she was just free-spirited," said Sarah's father Victor Butler.
For the first time on national television, Sarah Butler's parents sit down with Crime Watch Daily as we are invited into the home of Victor and Lavern Butler.
They are the heartbroken parents of a savagely murdered daughter, a young woman who worked as a lifeguard to pay her college tuition and danced her way through life.
Victor Butler is a father who always kept an eagle eye on his kids on the streets of their home town of Montclair, New Jersey well into their late teens.
"I used to walk with them everywhere. I wouldn't let them go nowhere by themselves," said Victor Butler. "Rain, sleet or snow."
Among their most treasured memories is Sarah's performance with her dance troupe at Harlem's famed Apollo Theater across the river in Manhattan.
"A lot of times when I watched her dance it would make me cry," said Aliyah Butler, Sarah's sister. "I would shake and I would tear up, like, 'Wow, that's my sister.'"
Sarah's younger sister Aliyah says they were the best of siblings, and friends who shared the same room at home. But that all changed in the blink of an eye, when Sarah suddenly went missing two days before Thanksgiving.
Her mother drove Sarah home from New Jersey City University for the holiday break. But Sarah is soon headed out the door again with plans to meet a mystery "someone."
"She said, 'Mom, I'm just gonna say goodbye to a friend, I'll come right back,' and I gave her my car key," said Lavern Butler. "She didn't tell me the name of the friend. She said she was gonna say goodbye to her friend 'cause everyone is leaving for Thanksgiving."
But strangely Sarah doesn't come right back. At first Laverne isn't worried. Sarah was known to sleep over at friends' houses sometimes.
But the next day, nothing was normal.
"I'm trying to call her phone and now I'm getting angry with her because I know she needs to call me," said Lavern. "'Where are you Sarah?'"
Soon Lavern had a terrible feeling when the calls are unanswered and Sarah never comes home.
"Then I started calling the police station," said Lavern.
And it turns out, other foreboding phone calls had already been made.
Aliyah says shortly before leaving, Sarah got a strange call at the house.
"Someone kept calling her, so she was like 'OK, OK, I'm coming, I'm coming," said Aliyah. "I was just like who are you talking to? She was like 'Oh, nobody.' She was just like, 'I'm going out.' I wasn't exactly sure where she was going. It was unusual."
At first, Sarah's parents worried but were hopeful she would eventually turn up.
"I figured that she would be here telling the story what happened to her when she went missing for those days," said Lavern.
But as those days ticked by, grim reality began to sink in.
"I knew something was terribly wrong," said Victor.
Reporter Christie Duffy from Crime Watch Daily New York affiliate WPIX, says the entire town turned out to look for Sarah.
"When she was first reported missing, was really intense, friends, family and law enforcement all scoured the area," said Duffy.
Then more than a week after she disappeared, Victor is on the street putting up missing posters when he gets an urgent call from home
"[The police] were here and so they confirmed it and showed me pictures of her, and I said 'Yeah, that's my baby,'" said Victor.
Sarah's body is discovered in a wooded park about three miles from her home buried under leaves and debris, strangled to death.
Tragically Sarah's parents will not be the only ones grieving. Two other young women are found murdered close by.
**Sarah Butler was found dead at Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange, New Jersey, and now police say she may have been a victim of an alleged serial killer in the making.
She worked as a lifeguard at the YMCA to help put herself through college but Sarah Butler's life would tragically be cut short.
And now police say she may have been a victim of an alleged serial killer in the making.
"This is something I have to live with the rest of my life," said Lavern Butler, Sarah's mother. "People say it's going to get easier, gonna get a little better. I don't know if that will ever, ever happen."
Tragically Sarah's parents are not alone in their grief. The bodies of two more young women are found murdered close by.
Police say Joanne Brown, like Sarah, was strangled.
The remains of Robin West were so badly burned it took cops two weeks just to identify her. Authorities in New Jersey believe he torched the house to cover his tracks.
And now they believe one man is responsible for all three murders -- a serial killer on the loose.
WPIX Reporter Christie Duffy has been chasing leads.
"Serial killers kill two, three or more people and they typically follow a pattern, targeting the same victims, all young pretty African-American women from New Jersey who were allegedly strangled and left in an abandoned or remote location," said Duffy.
Thirty-three-year-old Joanne Brown's strangled body was found in an abandoned house not far from where cops found Sarah Butler.
Joanne's friends say she was sweet, but tough. They claim she knew how to defend herself, and that brings them to this terrifying thought: They now wonder if there are actually two serial killers stalking young women in New Jersey.
Do they think he acted alone?
"I honestly don't believe so because she's very, very strong, so I believe it was not just him because it's like, I know her," said one friend of Joanne Brown's.
Sarah Butler's father agrees.
"I think he wasn't working by his self," said Sarah Butler's father Victor.
Police are very hush-hush. They won't even comment on the theory of more than one serial killer.
Now after a hard look at the evidence, they believe they have their man. Cops arrested a 20-year-old grocery store security guard named Khalil Wheeler-Weaver.
There are some real shockers surrounding this baby-faced 20-year-old: He reportedly had a clean record prior to the murder charges. And Wheeler comes from a family that includes at least two law enforcement officials in New Jersey.
A lot of serious questions remain unanswered.
It turns out that Sarah Butler may have actually known Khalil Wheeler-Weaver.
Prosecutors say they were not boyfriend and girlfriend, but believe they did meet more than once on the same night she disappeared.
"It does appear at this juncture that Ms. Butler, a student at New Jersey City University, was acquainted with the defendant and that they encountered each other in Orange, New Jersey on November 22," said Essex County, New Jersey Prosecutor Carolyn Murray.
But that's news to Sarah's parents.
"I've never seen him before, I never heard of his name before," said Lavern Butler. "None of us know of him."
And what about those strange phone calls that her sister Aliyah says Sarah received only hours before she went missing?
"I was super suspicious," said Aliyah. "I hate myself for not asking who it was."
Sarah's phone records are reportedly what police used to track and connect Khalil Wheeler-Weaver.
"Cellphone records actually place Khalil Wheeler-Weaver in some very key locations that would allegedly connect him to the murders of both Joanne Brown and Sarah Butler," said Duffy.
Sarah's parents get a good look at their daughter's accused killer in court when he pleads not guilty to the murders.
The indictment lists a fourth unnamed woman who told police she managed to escape the same suspected killer. Victor and Lavern Butler say that woman who got away reached out to them.
"She said that's the guy who tried to strangle her," said Victor and Lavern.
The stage is set for an upcoming trial and hopefully that will mean answers to a lot of lingering questions surrounding Khalil Wheeler-Weaver.
Wheeler-Weaver remained in jail held on $5 million bail.
"One thing Sarah did want to do was be the first Butler to graduate college," said sister Aliyah. "Sadly, she cannot. So I'm going to be that person. I'm going to be the first one in our family to graduate from college."