Four people arrested on suspicion of murder in case of missing Kansas women

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Four people have been taken into custody in connection to the disappearances of two Kansas mothers, according to authorities.

Veronica Butler, 27, and Jilian Kelley, 39, both of Hugoton, Kansas, have been missing since late March. The Texas County Sheriff’s Department said the women were traveling to pick up children but never arrived at their destination.

The vehicle Butler and Kelley had been traveling in was previously found abandoned near a highway outside Elkhart, Oklahoma.

Nexstar’s NewsNation reported last week that, according to sources, police believe Butler and Kelley had been shot, and that blood was found near their abandoned vehicle. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation previously reported that, based on the information investigators had obtained from the vehicle, they believed “there was evidence to indicate foul play.”

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As the search for Butler and Kelley enters its third week, investigators have released little information. News that four people were arrested on Saturday was the first update OSBI had given in days.

Among those arrested Saturday were Tifany Adams, 54, and Tad Cullum, 43. NewsNation reports that it has learned Adams is the grandmother of Butler’s children, and Cullum is Adams’ boyfriend. Two other people, Cole Twombly, 50, and Cora Twombly, 44, were also taken into custody.

The OSBI tells KSN that all four were arrested in counties near or along the Kansas border. Each was taken into custody on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. All four are set to be processed in Texas County.

  • Tad Cullum (Courtesy: OSBI)
    Tad Cullum (Courtesy: OSBI)
  • Tifany Adams (Courtesy: OSBI)
    Tifany Adams (Courtesy: OSBI)
  • Cole Twombly (Courtesy: OSBI)
    Cole Twombly (Courtesy: OSBI)
  • Cora Twombly (Courtesy: OSBI)
    Cora Twombly (Courtesy: OSBI)

OSBI tells KSN they are still searching a wide area of Texas County for the missing women. No other details were released.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the OSBI at or 1-800-522-8017.

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