4 arrested in disappearance of 2 women in Oklahoma

Authorities in Oklahoma booked four people on suspicion of kidnapping and murder in connection with the March disappearance of two women who are still missing.

The four, arrested and booked Saturday, were identified as Tad Bert Cullum, 43; Tifany Machel Adams, 54; Cole Earl Twombly, 50; and Cora Twombly, 44.

The women, identified as Veronica Butler, 27, and Jilian Kelley, 39, were victims of a "targeted" attack, authorities said, adding they don't believe anyone else in the public was in danger.

"We felt this wasn’t a random deal," Texas County Sheriff Matt Boley told reporters on Monday. "We felt that with some of the information coming in, that it was more targeted and we started to look in those areas."

The suspects were booked into the Texas County Jail in Oklahoma on suspicion of first-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement Saturday.

State court records did not appear to show charges had been filed, and the suspects’ names were not yet listed among active inmates. It wasn’t clear if the suspects had legal representation.

Authorities weren’t saying what may be behind the the disappearance, only that the four were arrested in Texas and Cimarron counties in the westernmost section of the Oklahoma panhandle.

“The OSBI and local law enforcement are still currently working to locate the two victims,” the bureau of investigation said.

Butler and Kelley were the subjects of an “endangered missing advisory” issued by Texas County authorities on March 30 after a vehicle they were traveling in was found abandoned in a rural part of Texas County south of Elkhart, Kansas, the bureau said.

“OSBI special agents immediately began investigating the vehicle and determined there was evidence to indicate foul play,” it said in Saturday’s statement.

Bureau spokesperson Hunter McKee said previously that Texas County Sheriff’s Office deputies first came upon the vehicle. They approached the vehicle, but “these women are gone and they’re nowhere to be seen,” he said.

The investigation was challenged by just how remote the area was, he said, with few if any homes and businesses where authorities might typically find security cameras.

Investigators didn’t reveal exactly what evidence suggested the possibility that a crime had taken place.

The two were en route to pick up children, though it wasn’t clear if the children belonged to one, both or neither of the women. McKee said investigators believe the two are friends.

Butler’s stepmother, Guadalupe Torres, said in an interview that Butler was in the midst of a heated custody dispute. Court records show she is a party to a custody claim that was first filed in 2021.

Though the bookings connected to the investigation included allegations of murder, authorities have so far stopped short of saying they’re searching for bodies.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the women is asked to contact the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation at tips@osbi.ok.gov or 1-800-522-8017.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com