OSBI: A 5th Suspect Arrested Following The Deaths Of 2 Women Found In Texas County

The Office of the Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner positively identified the two deceased people found in Texas County on Tuesday, according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation.

Wednesday, April 24th 2024, 3:27 pm

By: News 9


-

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation shared on Wednesday that a fifth suspect was arrested in connection to the death of two missing Kansas women.

OSBI stated that 31-year-old Paul Grice was arrested and booked into the Texas County Jail on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree.

A two-week search for two missing Kansas women came to a fatal end on April 14 when Oklahoma authorities confirmed the two were dead and announced the arrests of four people who allegedly belonged to an anti-government group that called themselves “God’s Misfits.”

Veronica Butler, 27, and Jilian Kelley, 39, of Hugoton, Kansas, disappeared on March 30 while driving to pick up Butler’s two children for a birthday party. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation confirmed on Tuesday that the bodies found in Texas County were those of the two women.

One of the suspects charged in the case is the children’s grandmother, who authorities say was in a bitter custody dispute with Butler. The four face charges including murder and are expected to make their first court appearance Wednesday in Guymon, in the rural Oklahoma panhandle.

Here are some things to know about the case:

WHAT DO AUTHORITIES SAY HAPPENED?

Investigators have been tight-lipped about the case since the car Kelley and Butler were riding in was found in a rural area of Texas County, which is along the border with Kansas. But arrest affidavits unsealed Monday painted a gruesome picture of the scene.

According to court records, blood was left on the road and Butler’s glasses were found near a broken hammer. A magazine for a pistol was inside Kelley’s purse but authorities disclosed they did not find any firearm.

Evidence suggests the killings were planned, according to the arrest affidavit, which states that Tifany Adams, the grandmother of Butler’s children, had bought pre-paid “burner” cellphones and five stun guns. Her internet searches included inquiring about pain levels using the weapons, according to the affidavits.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced over the weekend that they had found two bodies, more than two weeks after the women disappeared. The state medical examiner’s office has not yet released a report revealing how they were killed.

WHO WERE THE VICTIMS?

Investigators say Butler was involved in a custody fight with Adams and her son and was only allowed supervised visits with the children on Saturday. Kelley was authorized to supervise the visits, according to the affidavits.

Kelley was a pastor’s wife and mother of four. Her husband, Heath Kelley, was the pastor of First Christian Church in Hugoton. In recent months, he had accepted a new job with Willow Christian Church in Indianola, Nebraska, but hadn’t started there yet.

At Willow’s sister congregation, McCook Christian Church, Sunday’s service opened with news of the killings. “We had longed for a different outcome,” a pastor told the congregation during the service, which was posted on Facebook.

Messages left with several members of Butler’s family have not been returned.

WHO ARE THE SUSPECTS?

All four suspects are charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit murder. They are being held without bond at the Texas County Jail in Guymon.

In addition to Adams, 54, the others charged are Tad Cullum, 43; Cora Twombly, 44; and her husband Cole Twombly, 50, both of Texhoma, Oklahoma.

4 suspectsImage Provided By: Associated Press:

(Tad Bert Cullum, top left, Cora Twombly, top right, Tifany Machel Adams, bottom left, and Cole Earl Twombly, bottom right.)

Court records on Tuesday did not indicate if any had attorneys who could speak on their behalf. Relatives of Tad Cullum and the Twomblys have not returned phone messages seeking comment. Tifany Adams’ stepmother, Elise Adams, said she had no information on the case.

According to a witness who spoke to OSBI investigators, all four suspects were part of “an anti-government group that had a religious affiliation,” according to the affidavit. OSBI investigators learned the group called themselves “God’s Misfits” and held regular meetings at the home of the Twomblys and another couple.

Tifany Adams, who was involved in the custody dispute with Butler, is the current chair of the Cimarron County Republican Party, according to Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Nathan Dahm. Cimarron County is the westernmost county at the tip of the Oklahoma Panhandle with a population of fewer than 2,300 people.

Dahm said officials at the state party did not know Adams. He said given how rural the county is, “it could have been three people who showed up at the county convention and elected her.”

WHAT’S NEXT?

All four suspects showed up for an initial appearance Wednesday in Texas County District Court.

Emotions ran high in the courtroom as the families of Veronica Butler and Jillian Kelley

faced the group accused of kidnapping and murdering the women during a roadside ambush last month.

Tiffany Adams, Tad Cullum, Cora and Cole Twombly were denied bond as they stood before a Texas County judge.

Kelley's family also braved the courtroom today. She was one of three people court-approved to supervise Butler's visitation with her children.

The children are said to be in safekeeping.

The investigation is ongoing.

Witnesses have given more names of people who may have been involved in the conspiracy indicating there could be more arrests in the days to come.

Related Coverage:

  1. Search Underway For 2 Women In Oklahoma After Suspicious Disappearance
  2. Foul Play Suspected After 2 Women Disappear In Oklahoma Panhandle
  3. Search For 2 Missing Oklahoma Women Receives National Attention
logo

Get The Daily Update!

Be among the first to get breaking news, weather, and general news updates from News 9 delivered right to your inbox!

More Like This

April 24th, 2024

May 29th, 2024

May 22nd, 2024

May 21st, 2024

Top Headlines

June 19th, 2024

June 19th, 2024

June 19th, 2024

June 19th, 2024