Man Arrested in Murder of Former Sullivan Woman

According to documents released by the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, 53-year-old Marvin Brewer from Bartow, Florida has been charged with the murder of ex-Sullivan resident Tammy Butler.

Brewer was arrested on Wednesday by Polk County deputies and charged with first-degree murder. Brewer has a broad criminal history including charges of drug possession, battery, burglary, and the armed robbery of a post office for which got him 11 years in federal prison, according to court documents.

On March 22, Butler, 58, was found dead by deputies in the bathroom of her home, partly nude with a vast cut on her neck which a Florida medical examiner determined to be the cause of death. A review of Butler’s phone records estimated that she was likely murdered between 4:31 p.m. and 8:33 p.m. on March 18.

An unknown tip led police to Brewer whose DNA was later discovered inside Butler. Brewer admitted to knowing the victim and being at her residence at the approximate time and date of the murder. Detectives also matched Brewer’s phone number to calls received by Butler’s phone. 

Investigators likewise gathered video surveillance of Brewer’s car that affirmed he was in the area where Butler lived around the time of her murder.

“Our detectives did an outstanding job investigating this brutal murder, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.” They started with very few clues and worked hard to uncover the information and evidence necessary to make an arrest. Marvin Brewer may have thought he got away with murder. Thanks to our homicide investigative team, he didn’t.” (

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