Oklahoma authorities identify bodies found Sunday as two missing Kansas women

The remains of two women found in rural Oklahoma have been identified as 27-year-old Veronica Butler and 39-year-old Jilian Kelley, both of Hugoton, Kansas, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said.

The bodies were identified by the Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner’s office. They were found Sunday in Texas County, Oklahoma.

“It has been a tragedy for everyone involved,” Aungela Spurlock, director of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said, according to NBC News. “Our condolences go out to the family.”

Butler and Kelley went missing on March 30 as they were driving to a scheduled visitation with Butler’s children. Butler told family members that she would return later. Her car was found abandoned on the side of the road.

The bureau determined foul play was involved in the women’s disappearance after authorities found blood on the roadway, Butler’s glasses south of the vehicle near a broken hammer and a pistol magazine — but no gun — inside Kelley’s purse, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Four people were arrested in the women’s disappearance: Tifany Adams, 54; Tad Bert Cullum, 43; Cole Earl Twombly, 50 and Cora Twombly, 44.

Court documents show Adams and Butler were embroiled in a custody battle over Butler’s kids. The father of the children, Wrangler Rickman, is Adams’ son. He had legal custody of them.

Butler would frequently see her kids under supervised visits and Kelley accompanied Butler on March 30 to supervise the visitation.

Interviews conducted by the OSBI revealed that Adams conspired to have Butler and Kelley killed, according to the affidavit.

Rickman’s grandmother, Debi Knox-Davis, said in an interview with the bureau that in February Rickman had told her that they didn’t have to worry about the custody battle much longer because Adams “had it under control” and that “we will take care of Veronica at drop off,” the affidavit stated.

On April 1 — two days after the bodies were found — bureau agents seized Adams’ phone. A search of the device turned up web searches for Taser pain level, gun shops, prepaid cell phones and how to get someone out of their house.

Days later, the OSBI interviewed a teen who is the daughter of one of the suspects, Cora Twombly. The teen said that her mother, Cole Twombly (Cora’s husband), Adams, Cullum and one other person had been involved in the deaths of Butler and Kelley.

On March 30, the teen reported waking up and not finding Cora and Cole Twombly at home. The couple returned at noon and the teen asked her mother what had happened. Cora Twombly said that they “would not have to worry about her (Butler) again,” the affidavit said.