OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A two-week search for two missing Kansas women came to a fatal end last weekend when Oklahoma authorities confirmed the two were dead and announced the arrests of four people who allegedly belonged to an anti-government group that called themselves “God’s Misfits.”

Veronica Butler, 27, and Jilian Kelley, 39, of Hugoton, Kansas, disappeared on March 30 while driving to pick up Butler’s two children for a birthday party. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation confirmed on Tuesday that the bodies found in Texas County were those of the two women.

One of the suspects charged in the case is the children’s grandmother, who authorities say was in a bitter custody dispute with Butler. The four face charges including murder and are expected to make their first court appearance Wednesday in Guymon, in the rural Oklahoma panhandle.

Here are some things to know about the case.


Investigators have been tight-lipped about the case since the car Kelley and Butler were riding in was found in a rural area of Texas County, which is along the border with Kansas. But arrest affidavits unsealed Monday painted a gruesome picture of the scene.

According to court records, blood was left on the road and Butler’s glasses were found near a broken hammer. A magazine for a pistol was inside Kelley’s purse but authorities disclosed they did not find any firearm.

Evidence suggests the killings were planned, according to the arrest affidavit, which states that Tifany Adams, the grandmother of Butler’s children, had bought pre-paid “burner” cellphones and five stun guns. Her internet searches included inquiring about pain levels using the weapons, according to the affidavits.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced over the weekend that they had found two bodies, more than two weeks after the women disappeared. The state medical examiner’s office has not yet released a report revealing how they were killed.


Investigators say Butler was involved in a custody fight with Adams and her son and was only allowed supervised visits with the children on Saturday. Kelley was authorized to supervise the visits, according to the affidavits.

Kelley was a pastor’s wife and mother of four. Her husband, Heath Kelley, was the pastor of First Christian Church in Hugoton. In recent months, he had accepted a new job with Willow Christian Church in Indianola, Nebraska, but hadn’t started there yet.

At Willow’s sister congregation, McCook Christian Church, Sunday’s service opened with news of the killings. “We had longed for a different outcome,” a pastor told the congregation during the service, which was posted on Facebook.

Messages left with several members of Butler’s family have not been returned


All four suspects are charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder. They are being held without bond at the Texas County Jail in Guymon.

In addition to Adams, 54, the others charged are Tad Cullum, 43; Cora Twombly, 44; and her husband Cole Twombly, 50, both of Texhoma, Oklahoma.

Court records on Tuesday did not indicate if any had attorneys who could speak on their behalf. Relatives of Tad Cullum and the Twomblys have not returned phone messages seeking comment. Tifany Adams’ stepmother, Elise Adams, said she had no information on the case.

According to a witness who spoke to OSBI investigators, all four suspects were part of “an anti-government group that had a religious affiliation,” according to the affidavit. OSBI investigators learned the group called themselves “God’s Misfits” and held regular meetings at the home of the Twomblys and another couple.

Tifany Adams, who was involved in the custody dispute with Butler, is the current chair of the Cimarron County Republican Party, according to Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Nathan Dahm. Cimarron County is the westernmost county at the tip of the Oklahoma Panhandle with a population of fewer than 2,300 people.

Dahm said officials at the state party did not know Adams. He said given how rural the county is, “it could have been three people who showed up at the county convention and elected her.”


All four suspects were scheduled for an initial appearance Wednesday in Texas County District Court.

During an initial appearance in Oklahoma, a judge will typically review the formal charges and enter a not guilty plea on behalf of the defendant. The judge also will determine if the defendants have hired an attorney or will have a state-appointed attorney represent them and will schedule another court date for the defendants to appear.


Hollingsworth reported from Mission, Kansas.