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New footage shows chilling final moments before businessman Charles Butler was stabbed, suffocated and dumped in river

NEW footage has revealed the harrowing final moments of a Florida father who was stabbed and choked to death before his body was dumped in a New York river by his new girlfriend’s jealous ex.

Charles Butler, 56, disappeared from his girlfriend’s Brooklyn apartment in September 2012, never to be seen alive again.

Charles Butler, 56, is seen videotaping himself for his family just days before his death

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Charles Butler, 56, is seen videotaping himself for his family just days before his deathCredit: Oxygen
Butler, who ran a successful business in the Sunshine State, frequently visited the Big Apple to spend time with his daughter Molly (left).

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Butler, who ran a successful business in the Sunshine State, frequently visited the Big Apple to spend time with his daughter Molly (left).Credit: Oxygen

His story is set to be featured in the new documentary series Final Moments, which airs Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on Oxygen.

In an exclusive clip from The Sun, the father-of-three can be seen beaming in a self-recorded video giving his family a tour of his ‘new hood’ on the streets of New York just days before his grisly death.

Butler, who ran a successful business in the Sunshine State, frequently visited the Big Apple to spend time with his daughter, who at the time was living in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood.

It was during one such trip in 2012 that he met Anna Lioznov and the couple quickly began dating, discussing plans to move in together and get married in the near future — but there would be no exchange of vows.

LAST MOVEMENTS

On September 18, 2012, Butler was staying at Lioznov’s apartment, where she was seen leaving the premises at 7.40am the next morning.

Just four minutes later, a car owned by her ex-husband, Mikhail Chernyaev, was caught on surveillance tape pulling into the garage.

Butler was never seen alive after that moment.

Later that day, Butler’s daughter received a strange message in broken English from her father’s number.

Lioznov also received a text message from Butler’s phone with a brief and bizarre breakup message that read, “Forget me. I’m going back to Florida.”

Butler’s children told Oxygen they knew immediately something was wrong with their father and contacted the NYPD.

However, since there were no signs of third-party fault, the investigation was treated as a missing persons case for weeks.

That was about to change when a fisherman found a decomposed body in a remote area outside of Port Jervis, NY.

BODY ‘THROPPED OFF A CLIFF’

Using a sketch created from the skeleton, a single usable fingerprint, and DNA analysis, the body was positively identified as Butler’s in May 2013.

Police were able to determine that he had been stabbed, choked and strangled multiple times before being thrown off a cliff.

By this time Chernyaev was back together with Lioznov, who had rushed in to comfort her – and make love to her – the night after Butler’s untimely disappearance.

He was taken into custody and initially gave investigators a false alibi, saying Butler’s death was caused by an accidental fall. He later admitted to killing his love rival, but claimed he did it in self-defense.

During his trial, prosecutors said Butler was killed in Lioznov’s apartment after Chernyaev found him sleeping in his ex-wife’s bed.

Driven by jealousy, he stabbed Butler in the back and strangled him to death. He then drove 90 miles to Port Jervis and dumped Butler’s body in the Delaware River.

For his part, he denied having anything to do with the murder, telling the court that he was “set up” by the police and “sympathizes with the whole family.”

“Now I know police liars,” he said. “It seems impossible, I know, but I had nothing to do with the crime. As a Russian, I am viewed as an enemy of the American people.”

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The court was unperturbed by Chernyaev’s pleas of innocence and he was found guilty of Butler’s murder.

Final Moments, which is executive produced by Dick Wolf, premieres on Oxygen on Sunday, April 3rd at 7pm ET/PT for two back-to-back episodes.

Mikhail Chernyaev was found guilty of his murder

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Mikhail Chernyaev was found guilty of his murderPhoto credit: Brooklyn District Attorney
Butler is pictured with all three of his children shortly before his death

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Butler is pictured with all three of his children shortly before his deathCredit: Oxygen
He was stabbed, strangled and suffocated before his body was thrown off a cliff

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He was stabbed, strangled and suffocated before his body was thrown off a cliffCredit: Oxygen

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18144047/final-moments-video-charles-butler-stabbed-suffocated-dumped-river/ New footage shows chilling final moments before businessman Charles Butler was stabbed, suffocated and dumped in river

Bobby Allyn

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