Murder Suspects

Missing Pastor’s Wife and Friend Confirmed Dead, Police Make 4 Arrests


Authorities have confirmed the tragic deaths of a pastor’s wife, Jillian Kelley, and her friend, Veronica Butler who went missing in Oklahoma two weeks ago. Their bodies were reportedly recovered in rural Texas amid an investigation into their disappearance.

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

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“This case did not end the way we had hoped. It’s certainly been a tragedy for everyone involved,” OSBI Director Aungela Spurlock said.

As CBN News reported, The Texas County Sheriff’s Office requested help from the public on March 30, when they declared the disappearance of 27-year-old Butler and 39-year-old Kelley, the wife of Pastor Heath Kelley, who were traveling from Kansas to Oklahoma.

The pair had left Hugoton, Kansas, but never arrived at their planned destination, according to a report from The Kansas City Star. The sheriff’s office said they were “traveling together to pick up children.”

According to descriptions of the two women, Kelley has brown hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing light blue jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, while Butler, who is five feet and four inches tall, has red hair and green eyes and was seen wearing denim shorts and a short-sleeved blue shirt.

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Oklahoma police announced Saturday that four people were arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of conspiracy to murder in the first degree in connection with Butler and Kelley’s disappearance, ABC News reports.

Tad Bert Cullum, 43; Tifany Machel Adams, 54; Cole Earl Twombly, 50, and Cora Twombly, 44 were taken in custody the day before the two bodies were found and were booked into the Texas County Jail.

Adams is the paternal grandmother of Butler’s children and Cullum is her boyfriend, according to NewsNation.

Butler was allegedly in the middle of a custody battle with the father of her children and seeking full custody. {eoa}

To read the full story, visit our content partners at CBN News.

Reprinted with permission from Copyright © 2024 The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. All rights reserved.

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