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Suspects in Murder of Pastor’s Wife and Friend Are Members of ‘God’s Misfits,’ a Religious Anti-Government Group

Jilian Kelley and Veronica Butler murdered
This combination of booking photo provided by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation shows Tad Bert Cullum, top left, Cora Twombly, top right, Tifany Machel Adams, bottom left, and Cole Earl Twombly, bottom right. On Saturday, April 13, 2024, Oklahoma authorities said they arrested and charged these four people with murder and kidnapping over the weekend in connection with the disappearances of Veronica Butler and Jilian Kelley. (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation via AP)

Grisly new details have emerged in the disappearance of Kansas pastor’s wife Jilian Kelley and her friend Veronica Butler following the arrest of four suspects.

Investigators believe that the two women were victims of a conspiracy to murder them over a custody battle involving Butler’s two children. 

Editor’s note: This article contains information that some readers may find disturbing and/or triggering.

On Saturday (April 13), the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) and Texas County Sheriff’s Department announced that four individuals had been arrested in connection with the women’s disappearance, including Tifany Machel Adams, the paternal grandmother of Butler’s children. The others arrested included Adams’ romantic partner, Tad Bert Cullum, along with Cole Earl Twombly and Cora Twombly. 

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One day later, the OSBI and Texas County Sheriff’s Department revealed that investigators discovered two bodies that they believe to be the remains of Kelley and Butler in rural Texas County, Oklahoma. The medical examiner is still working to confirm the bodies’ identities and causes of death. 

The four suspects are part of an anti-government group called “God’s Misfits,” according to the Associated Press. The religious group is said to have regularly met at the home of Cole and Cora Twombly. 

Kelley and Butler went missing on March 30 while on their way to Eva, Oklahoma, to pick up Butler’s 6-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son to celebrate the daughter’s birthday. Their car was later discovered abandoned. 

According to KOKH, law enforcement officials found evidence of a violent struggle in and near the car, including blood splatters, Butler’s glasses near a broken hammer, and a pistol magazine.

Kelley was with Butler on March 30 to serve as Butler’s court ordered supervisor for her child visitation. Butler had selected Kelley in lieu of another supervisor, who had been selected by Adams but was unavailable that day. A custody hearing had been set for April 17, and Butler’s lawyer told investigators that Butler was likely to receive unsupervised visitation—something Adams desperately wanted to prevent.

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Upon receiving a search warrant, investigators found online searches made on Adams’ phone for taser gun pain level, gun shops, prepaid cell phones, and how to get someone out of their house. Investigators also discovered that Adams had recently purchased five taser guns and three prepaid cell phones. The three phones were found in the vicinity of Butler’s car following the women’s disappearance.