5th person charged in murders of 2 Kansas women

Posted at 5:36 PM, April 24, 2024 and last updated 8:03 AM, April 25, 2024

GUYMON, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma prosecutors charged a fifth member of an anti-government group on Wednesday with killing and kidnapping two Kansas women.

Paul Jeremiah Grice, 31, was charged in Texas County with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder.

mugshot of paul grice

This booking photo provided by the Texas County Sheriff’s Department shows Paul Grice on Wednesday, April 24, 2024. Oklahoma prosecutors charged Grice, a fifth member of an anti-government group, on Wednesday with killing and kidnapping two Kansas women. (Texas County Sheriff’s Department via AP)

Grice told an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent that he participated in the killing and burial of Veronica Butler, 27, and Jilian Kelley, 39, of Hugoton, Kansas, according to an arrest affidavit filed in the case.

Grice is being held without bond at the Texas County Detention Center in Guymon, a jail official said. Court and jail records don’t indicate if Grice has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Four others have been charged in connection with the deaths and are being held without bail: Tifany Adams, 54, and her boyfriend, Tad Cullum, 43, of Keyes, and Cole, 50, and Cora Twombly, 44, of Texhoma, Oklahoma.

Butler and Kelley disappeared March 30 while driving to pick up Butler’s two children for a birthday party. Adams, who is the children’s grandmother, was in a bitter custody dispute with Butler, who was only allowed supervised visits with the children on Saturdays. Kelley was authorized to supervise the visits, according to the affidavits.

A witness who spoke to Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents said all five suspects were part of “an anti-government group that had a religious affiliation,” according to the affidavit. Investigators learned the group called themselves “God’s Misfits” and held regular meetings at the home of the Twomblys and another couple.