Kansas women killings: Court documents detail alleged murder-kidnapping motive

Written by on April 16, 2024

Texas County Sheriff’s Department

(NEW YORK) — In the wake of the disappearance and killing of two women from Kansas, newly released court documents detail, according to prosecutors, the motive and evidence behind the alleged murder-kidnapping.

On Monday, the affidavit of probable cause for the arrest warrants of the four suspects arrested in connection with the alleged murder of moms Veronica Butler, 27, and Jilian Kelley, 39, was released.

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.

Ongoing custody battle

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.

The custody battle between Butler and Rickman began in February 2019, according to the documents.

Previous child custody case recordings were obtained by investigators, in which Rickman allegedly discussed death threats made by his mother and her boyfriend, fellow suspect Tad Cullum, with legal representatives.

On March 30, the day of Butler and Kelley’s disappearance, Kelley was chosen to supervise Butler’s court-ordered custody exchange with Adams at 10:00 a.m. local time.

Adams’ preferred custody supervisor, Cheryl Brune, was allegedly “unavailable” for the March 30 exchange, however, Brune allegedly told investigators Adams had told her to take time off.

The children’s father was allegedly in an Oklahoma City rehabilitation facility at the time of the disappearance, according to the documents.

Investigators report that Adams claimed she was at home when Butler called to cancel the custody exchange at 9:00 a.m., local time.

Evidence near the vehicle

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, 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.

Anti-government group

The affidavit states the two other suspects, married couple Cora and Cole Twombly, are allegedly members of an anti-government group called “God’s Misfits” with Adams and Cullum.

According to the court documents, an unnamed teen reported the Twomblys’ potential involvement in the alleged murder-kidnapping to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

The teen allegedly told investigators that they “overheard” Cora allegedly confirm her involvement in the deaths and saw the alleged burner phones used in the suspected scheme.

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

Unidentified bodies discovered

On Sunday, police recovered two dead bodies in rural Texas amid the investigation into Butler’s and Kelly’s disappearance.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the FBI and the Texas County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on X that the bodies will be “transported to the Office of the Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner to determine identification and cause and manner of death.”

Authorities have not identified the deceased.

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