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4 arrested, bodies found in connection with disappearance of 2 women in Oklahoma

Remains believed to be missing Kansas moms
4 arrested, bodies found in case of missing Kansas moms 01:48

Four people have been arrested and charged with murder in connection with the disappearance of two women in Oklahoma, authorities announced. The remains of two bodies have also been found, although they have not been identified yet, officials said.

Veronica Butler, 27, and 39-year-old Jilian Kelley were last seen together in a vehicle that was later found abandoned by the highway in a rural part of Texas County, Oklahoma. Asked during a news conference Monday if there was a chance that the women were still alive, Hunter McKee, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, said no.

Tad Bert Cullum, 43, Tifany Machel Adams, 54, Cole Earl Twombly, 50, and Cora Twombly, 44, were all arrested Saturday and charged with two counts each of first-degree murder and kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, the agency said. There was no resistance from the suspects when they were arrested, McKee said.

"There was concern, but we are extremely thankful that no one was hurt, no one was injured during this process," he said. 

According to an unsealed affidavit, Adams is the paternal grandmother of Butler's children and the two were involved in a custody battle. Callum and Adams were in a relationship, according to the affidavit. According to authorities, all four suspects belong to an anti-government group called "God's Misfits" that regularly met at the Twomblys' home and other locations. The group had allegedly tried to kill Butler before, according to a teenage witness who spoke to investigators.

McKee said authorities weren't looking for any additional suspects.

"We constantly received several tips and have used those throughout the entire 14-day process in order to find these two bodies and then also discover and find those who were responsible for this crime," McKee told reporters Monday.

Veronica Butler and Jilian Kelley Oklahoma Highway Patrol

On Sunday, the two bodies were discovered in Texas County, the agency said. Both were still awaiting identification.

McKee said the bodies were found in a rural area but didn't provide additional details.

Butler and Kelley were last seen traveling together in a vehicle on March 30 before they disappeared, according to a missing persons alert released by the Texas County Sheriff's Department. They had traveled from nearby in Kansas to pick up Butler's children, CBS affiliate KWTV reported. The missing persons alert said neither "made it to the pick up location."

According to the unsealed affidavits, Butler was only allowed supervised visits with her children on Saturdays, and Kelley was the supervisor the day the two went missing.

According to the state's bureau of investigation, the car the women were traveling in was found abandoned along the side of the road near Oklahoma State Highway 95, right by the border between Oklahoma and Elkhart, Kansas.

A few days after the car was found, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said that "investigators believe there was evidence to indicate foul play." During Monday's news conference, McKee said he could not elaborate on what that evidence was, but an unsealed affidavit noted blood and a broken hammer were found nearby.

"Blood was found on the roadway and the edge of the roadway. Butler's glasses were also found on the roadway south of the vehicle, near a broken hammer. A pistol magazine was found inside Kelley's purse at the scene, but no pistol was found," the affidavit stated.

A later search of Adams' phone revealed she had searched for, according to the affidavit, "taser pain level, gun shops, prepaid cellular phones and how to get someone out of their house." 

Adams went on to purchase five stun guns at a local gun shop a week before the two women disappeared, the affidavit said. Investigators also found that Adams had bought several "burner" phones and "all three phones were at the area where Butler's car was located and the last known location of Butler and Kelley."

"It is still an ongoing investigation," McKee said. "... We can say that the evidence that was discovered inside of that abandoned vehicle and around it were able to help our investigators determine that there was foul play involved." 

Alex Sundby and Mark Strassmann contributed reporting.

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