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Investigation Continues, Yarbrough School on Lockdown

Joe Denoyer - April 2, 2024 8:32 am

(KAKE News)

Authorities continue to investigate the suspicious disappearance of two Kansas women.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says on Saturday, the Texas County Sheriff’s Department requested their assistance in investigating “the suspicious disappearance” of 27-year-old Veronica Butler and 39-year-old Jilian Kelley.

The OSBI says the Butler and Kelley’s vehicle was found abandoned near Highway 95 and Road L, south of Elkhart, Kansas, in rural Texas County.

According to an Endangered Missing Alert by the Hugoton Police Department, the women were en route to pick up Butler’s children but never showed up at the pickup location and Butler’s blue Kia was found abandoned.

OSBI special agents, along with local law enforcement agencies, are currently working to locate the two women.

“It appears that this was not a willing incident on their own to have taken off or anything of that nature,” said Tim Singer, pastor at Hugoton Assembly of God. “It looks to be that there is something more involved.”

Hunter McKee with the OSBI said, “There is every reason to believe that they could be in danger.”

The OSBI has not named any suspects or made arrests associated with the women’s disappearance. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the OSBI at [email protected] or 1-800-522-8017.

Yarbrough School in Goodwell, Oklahoma, where Butler graduated from in 2015, is lockdown status Tuesday because “there are so many unanswered questions.” The superintendent released the following statement Monday:
“Dear Parents and Guardians,

“First and foremost, we are praying for the safe return of Veronica Butler and Jilian Kelley. Veronica is a Yarbrough graduate with the Class of 2015. I remember her graduation ceremony very clearly, as she was the only senior graduating that afternoon. She was a class of one that year. I joked about her being the top of her class and well, the bottom also.

“Second, at this time, we just don’t have very much information other than these two ladies are missing and their vehicle was found a little south of the school down at the correction line. Because there are so many unanswered questions, Yarbrough School will be operating in a locked-down status tomorrow with additional safety measures in place. Students will remain indoors throughout the day, all exterior doors will remain locked (except for the South Gym outside doors due to precinct voting; however, the South Gym will be locked off from the remainder of the school), classroom doors will be locked, additional monitoring will be in place, and access to the building by visitors will be limited. We will assess our security plan on a daily basis and will make sure that updates are published as soon as possible. If you have specific concerns or questions, please reach out and let us know.

“Our hearts are broken for these families, and our prayers are with them!”


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