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Murdered mother and friend were ‘lured’ to remote spot by stun gun-brandishing members of anti-government group ‘God’s Misfits’

Two female friends were “lured” to a desolate spot then kidnapped and murdered by four people brandishing stun guns, according to court documents.

Veronica Butler, 27, and her friend Jilian Kelley, 39, were last seen on 30 March. The pair had been travelling to Oklahoma from Hugoton, Kansas, to collect Ms Butler’s two children aged six and eight, and take them to a birthday party.

Hours later, family reported them missing, and police found their abandoned car at a rural crossroads. Ms Butler and Ms Kelley’s cellphones sent signals until 9.42am before they stopped.

Police found evidence of a “severe injury” with blood on the roadway. Ms Butler’s glasses were discovered in the road, close to a broken hammer. A pistol magazine was also found in Ms Kelley’s purse, but no pistol was found, the documents said.

Clockwise from top left: Tad Bert Cullum, 43, Cora Twombly, 44, Cole Earl Twombly, 50, and Tifany Machel Adams, 54, were arrested and charged with murder this weekend (AP)

On 14 April, police said two bodies had been discovered in rural Texas County, Oklahoma, believed to be the two mothers.

Tifany Machel Adams, 54; Tad Bert Cullum, 43; Cole Earl Twombly, 50; and Cora Twombly, 44 were charged with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder this weekend.

The daughter of one of the suspects, Cora Twombly, has alleged that the four are part of an anti-government religious group called “God’s Misfits”.

Arrest affidavits, obtained by The Independent, revealed that Ms Butler and Ms Kelley had been “lured” to the rural crossroads in Texas County, where the closest town was 13 miles away.

According to court documents, the four co-conspirators had planned the murders for weeks. Searches of Ms Adams’ phone showed she had looked up “taser pain level, gun shops, prepaid cellular phones and how to get someone out of their house”.

Veronica Butler, left, and Jilian Kelley, right, disappeared on 30 March while going to pick up Butler’s children. Police believe they have been murdered (AP)

The two women were forced into another vehicle and taken “to another location with the intent to cause Veronica Butler/Jilian Kelley to be confined/imprisoned against [their] will,” the court documents read.

The Twomblys had reportedly blocked the road so that the two victims would be directed to where Ms Adams and Mr Cullum were positioned.

Three pre-paid phones, purchased by Ms Adams, pinged at the location where the women’s car was later found. Two of those phones were found in a pasture below a dam, around eight miles away, where a hole had recently been dug and then filled back in. Those devices had shown up close to the Twomblys’ residence and another home, the affidavit said.

It is unclear what happened following the apparent abductions or how the victims died. The Medical Examiner’s Office is yet to release its report.

Ms Butler was in a “problematic” custody battle over her two children with Tifany Adams, their grandmother, whose son Wrangler Rickman is in a rehabilitation facility, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) said.

Ms Adams had been caring for her grandchildren fulltime with Ms Butler allowed visitation every Saturday with supervision.

A few days before 30 March, Ms Butler filed petitions for more access to her children and a hearing was due to take place this Wednesday, 17 April.

OSBI questioned Mr Rickman’s grandmother, Debi Knox-Davis, who said her grandson told her in mid-February that “they didn’t have to worry about the custody battle much longer because Adams had it under control”.

Veronica Butler and Jilian Kelley disappeared from this rural intersection on Highway 95 and Road L in Texas County, Oklahoma (GoogleMaps)

While Mr Rickman denied having the conversation, he allegedly told his grandmother that “we will take out Veronica at drop off”.

Investigators also interviewed Ms Twombley’s 16-year-old daughter, identified as “CW”. She alleged that the suspects were all part of an anti-government, religious group known as “God’s Misfits”.

CW alleged that the group had earlier tried to kill Ms Butler in February. One plan had been to throw an anvil through the woman’s windshield in order to make her death look like an accident.

On 29 March, Mr and Ms Twombly told their daughter that they were going on a “mission” the next day, so likely would not be there when she woke up, according to the affidavits. The couple returned home at around noon and told the girl to clean the interior of their Chevrolet pickup.

Ms Twombly told her daughter that “things did not go as planned, but that they would not have to worry about her [Butler] again,” the court documents said.

CW alleged that she had asked why Ms Kelley had to die and her mother told her that she wasn’t innocent because she had supported Ms Butler, the documents said.

The four suspects’ first court appearance is on 17 April at 9.30am.


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