Bodies found in rural Oklahoma identified as 2 missing Kansas women

Remains discovered in rural Oklahoma have been positively identified as belonging to two Kansas women who went missing last month, authorities said.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday that the state’s chief medical examiner confirmed the bodies were those of Veronica Butler, 27, and Jilian Kelley, 39.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones, as well as all members of their community,” said the OSBI said on the social media platform

A custody battle could have led to the deaths of the women, who disappeared while picking up one of the couple’s children for a birthday party last month in Oklahoma, court documents revealed Monday.

The remains of the Hugoton, Kansas, women were discovered in Texas County, Oklahoma, the same jurisdiction where their vehicle was found last month.

“This has been a tragedy for everyone involved,” Aungela Spurlock, director of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, told reporters. “Our condolences go out to the family.”

The OSBI stated in a statement about On Sunday, his officers — along with Texas County Sheriff’s personnel — recovered the bodies in a rural part of the county.

Four people were booked into the Texas County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder Saturday as part of the investigation. The suspects were then formally charged.

The OSBI identified them as Tad Bert Cullum, 43; Tiffany Machel Adams, 54; Cole Earl Twombly, 50; and Cora Twombly, 44. The four were arrested in Texas County and neighboring Cimarron County.

Court documents do not list an attorney for any of the four. An initial appearance for the suspects was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Texas County Court.

The Texas County State Public Defender’s Office did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment Tuesday evening, and no one returned a phone call.

Adams was in a “problematic custody battle” with Butler, who had two children with Adams’ son, Wrangler Rickman, according to an affidavit from OSBI Special Agent Jason Ott.

Butler had supervised her children’s visits every Saturday, and she and her friend Kelley were on their way to one such meeting on March 30, according to Ott’s affidavit supporting Adams’ arrest.

“Butler had planned to bring his daughter to a birthday party, but when they did not arrive, the family began looking for Butler,” the affidavit states.

Butler’s car was discovered in Texas County with signs of a violent struggle, officials said. Blood stained the ground nearby and Butler’s glasses “were also found in the roadway south of the vehicle, near a broken hammer,” Ott wrote.

Rickman was “at a rehabilitation center in Oklahoma City” at the time of the disappearance, the affidavit states, and he does not appear to be a suspect.

Rickman also had disagreements with his mother, Adams, the affidavit states. At times, Adams would babysit the children and refuse to release them to Rickman, even though he had legal custody, according to Ott.

A key witness in this case is the suspect’s 16-year-old daughter Cora Twombly.

The girl, identified as “CW,” said Cora Twombly and the suspect’s husband, Cole Twombly, told her on March 29 that they would not be home when she got up the next morning because they were on a “mission,” according to the court affidavit.

When the couple returned home at noon, they asked their daughter to clean their Chevrolet pickup truck, according to the affidavit.

“CW asked Cora what happened and was told that things didn’t go as planned, but they wouldn’t have to worry about her (Butler) anymore,” the report said. court document. “CW learned that Cora and Cole were blocking the road to stop Butler and Kelley and bring them to where Adams (and) Cullum were…. CW asked about Kelley and why she had to die and Cora told him that ‘She was “Not innocent either, for she had supported Butler. CW asked Cora if their bodies were put in a well and Cora replied, “something like that.”

Adams purchased three prepaid cell phones at a Walmart on Feb. 13, according to the affidavit, and all three were located “in the areas where Butler’s car was located and the last known location of Butler and Kelley, at the time of their disappearance. ”

Butler and Kelley were the subject of an “endangered missing notice” issued by Oklahoma authorities on March 30 after the vehicle they were in was found in Texas County, l ‘OSBI.

Texas County Sheriff Matt Boley did not reveal many details about the alleged crime when meeting with reporters Monday morning, but he said Butler and Kelley were victims of a “targeted” attack and that authorities did not believe anyone else in the area. the public was in danger.

“We felt this was not a random deal,” Boley said. “We felt that with some of the information received, it was more targeted, and we began to look at those areas.”

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