National News

Kansas women identified as two dead bodies discovered in Texas County, Oklahoma: Medical Examiner

todayApril 17, 2024


Texas County Sheriff’s Department

(NEW YORK) — The Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner’s Office announced Tuesday it had positively identified the two deceased persons found in Texas County, Oklahoma as missing Kansas women Veronica Butler, 27, and Jilian Kelley, 39.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones, along with everyone throughout their community,” the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

Butler and Kelley have been missing since March 30, when they were driving in Oklahoma to pick up Butler’s children for a birthday party in Kansas and never arrived.

Authorities later found their vehicle abandoned in rural Oklahoma, near the Kansas border.

On April 13, Oklahoma police announced four people were arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree in connection with Butler and Kelley’s disappearance.

The four individuals are Tad Bert Cullum, 43; Tifany Machel Adams, 54; Cole Earl Twombly, 50, and Cora Twombly, 44. All four remain in custody.

On April 14, police recovered two dead bodies in Texas County amid the investigation into the disappearance of Butler and Kelley. Identification was the responsibility of the medical examiner’s office, which made the announcement Tuesday.

On Monday, the affidavit of probable cause for the arrest warrants of the four suspects was released, detailing the alleged motive in the murder-kidnapping.

In the court documents, investigators state they discovered Butler was in a “problematic custody battle” with suspect Tifany Adams’ son for the custody of Butler’s two children.

Adams is the grandmother of Butler’s children and mother of the kids’ father, Wrangler Rickman, who has legal custody, according to the documents.

Amid the investigation into Butler and Kelley’s disappearance, authorities say they found their vehicle abandoned in rural Oklahoma, near the Kansas border.

An examination of the vehicle and the area surrounding found evidence of severe injury, according to the affidavit, which notes, that blood was found on the roadway and edge of the roadway.

Butler’s glasses were also found in the roadway south of the vehicle near a broken hammer, and a pistol magazine was found inside Kelley’s purse at the scene, but no pistol was found, according to documents.

Adams, her boyfriend and fellow suspect Tad Callum, and the two other suspects, married couple Cole and Cora Twombly, are allegedly members of the anti-government group “God’s Misfits,” according to the affidavit.

Adams was elected last year as the chair for the Cimarron County Republican Party. The chairman of the Oklahoma GOP said Adams was unknown to the state party. Adams was “previously elected by a handful of people to the role of Chair in her county,” the chairman said.

All four suspects are scheduled to make their initial court appearance on Wednesday, according to officials.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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