Search warrants: Missing Kansas women were buried in freezer, concrete

Posted at 2:32 PM, May 24, 2024 and last updated 12:50 PM, May 24, 2024

TEXAS COUNTY, Okla. (Court TV) — Newly unsealed search warrants are offering more insight into the alleged kidnapping and murder of two women at the hands of an anti-government group.

Cole and Cora Twombley, Tifany Adams and her boyfriend, Tad Cullum, are all charged with kidnapping and murder in the deaths of Veronica Butler and Jilian Kelley.


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. (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)

At the time of her murder, Butler was involved in a bitter custody battle with Tifany Adams, her children’s grandmother. Butler had been granted weekly visitation and was traveling to visit her kids with Kelley, who was acting as the court-mandated supervisor for the visit. The two had been planning to meet with Adams at 10 a.m. on March 30, but never arrived. Butler’s car was later found five miles from their meetup location with blood on the ground and Butler’s glasses in the road with a broken hammer nearby.

Search warrants just released and reviewed by Court TV revealed that Butler and Kelley’s bodies were found inside of a chest freezer, buried on a property Cullum was renting for cattle grazing. Investigators learned that days before the women disappeared, Cullum approached the property owner with Adams to ask for permission to tear down a tree, remove a stump and fill the hole with concrete.

When investigators searched the property, just 8.5 miles from where Butler’s car was found, they found an area below a dam where fresh work had been done and a hole filled with concrete. The search of the property yielded not just the freezer with the women’s bodies, but also clothing with possible blood, a roll of duct tape with possible blood, the handle of a saw, a black k-bar knife in sheath with possible blood and a black Taser/flashlight.

The search warrants also offer more detail about the custody battle between Butler and Adams, noting that the two were due in court on April 17, 2024, where Butler was expected to be granted unsupervised visitation. Adams’ son, Wrangler Rickman, who had legal custody of the children, told his grandmother a month before the murders that “they didn’t have to worry about the custody battle much longer because Adams had it under control, that Adams knew the path the judge walked to work and ‘we will take Veronica out at drop off.'” Police confirmed that Rickman was in a rehab facility on March 30, and he has not been charged in the case.

photo of trailer

Investigators seized a trailer allegedly seen near Veronica Butler’s abandoned vehicle. (Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation/Court Evidence)

Investigators revealed in the search warrant that March 30 wasn’t the first time Butler had been targeted, saying Adams, Cullum and Cora Twombley drove to Butler’s home in Feb. 2024, but Butler never came outside. “This is consistent with the web search discovered on Adams’ phone about how to get someone out of their house,” detectives said. “The plan to kill Butler in Kansas was to get in front of her while she was driving and to throw an anvil through her vehicle windshield. The thought was that anvils fall off work trucks regularly in the area.”

Detectives also seized a trailer as evidence, which witnesses said was seen at the location of Butler’s abandoned vehicle at the time of the women’s disappearance.

All four suspects have pleaded not guilty and were ordered held without bond. The group has been linked to what was described by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation as an “anti-government group that had a religious affiliation,” who called themselves “God’s Misfits.”