Home Christian News ‘Suspicious’ Disappearance of Pastor’s Wife and Friend Has Multiple Agencies Searching

‘Suspicious’ Disappearance of Pastor’s Wife and Friend Has Multiple Agencies Searching

Veronica Butler Julian Kelley
Screengrab via YouTube @12 News

Law enforcement officials are looking for two Kansas women. Veronica Butler (27) and Jilian Kelley (39) went missing over Easter weekend while they were on their way to pick up children.

Kelley is the wife of Pastor Heath Kelley of Hugoton First Christian Church and the mother of four children. She runs the children’s programs at the church and serves as the church’s secretary.

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A missing persons alert reads,

Veronica and Jilian were traveling together to pick up children. They never made it to the pick up location. Their car was left abandoned on the side of the road. Veronica has several tattoos, a Chinese symbol on her left forearm, [and] a sunflower on her left shoulder. Jilian has a butterfly tattoo on her left forearm.

On Saturday (March 30), deputies from the Texas County Sheriff’s Department in Oklahoma found the car Butler and Kelley were driving abandoned in a rural area south of Elkhart, Kansas. It is unclear if the children they were picking up were related to either woman.

Hunter McKee, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) public information manager, said, “As of right now, as the investigation continues and we were requested, we’re unsure where these women are or what happened to them. That unknown is what has created it suspicious for us at this time.”

Yarbrough Schools, which is located near where the vehicle was found and is the school from which Butler graduated, locked the school down on Tuesday (April 2).

“Given the unknown nature of the missing persons incident, the close proximity of the event to the school and parental concerns, we felt that it was in our students’ best interest to lock down the school for the day,” the school’s superintendent told KWCH 12News. The superintendent added that it was “purely a safety-first decision.”

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“Our prayers are with these families as they face the unimaginable,” he said. “Veronica is a 2015 graduate of Yarbrough School, and we pray for her and Jilian’s safe return.”