5th Suspect Nabbed in Deaths of Women Found Buried in Oklahoma

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

A fifth suspect has been arrested in connection with the deaths of two women who went missing last month and were later found buried in a rural Oklahoma cattle pasture.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced it picked up 31-year-old Paul Grice on Wednesday, who was booked into the Texas County Jail on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree. He and four others are accused of killing 27-year-old Veronica Butler and 39-year-old Jilian Kelley, who disappeared on March 30.

The two were driving to pick up Butler’s two kids for a weekly visit amid an intense custody battle between Butler and the youngsters’ grandmother, 54-year-old Tifany Machel Adams, when they were ambushed and murdered, according to police.

“An examination of the vehicle and area surrounding the vehicle found evidence of a severe injury,” a probable cause affidavit states. “Blood was found on the roadway and edge of the roadway. Butler’s glasses were also found in the roadway south of the vehicle, near a broken hammer. A pistol magazine was found inside Kelley’s purse at the scene, but no pistol was found.”

Kelley, a court-appointed monitor meant to supervise Butler’s weekly visits, was accompanying her to take the children, ages 6 and 8, to a birthday party, according to authorities. Butler’s car was discovered by worried relatives near the Kansas border, and the women’s remains were found on April 14, about nine miles from the vehicle.

The bodies were buried in a pasture leased by Tad Bert Cullum, 43, who authorities say is Adams’ boyfriend. Another couple, 50-year-old Cole Earl Twombly, 50, and 44-year-old Cora Gayle Twombly, were also arrested and charged with the twin homicides.

Wrangler Rickman, Adams’ son and the father of Butler’s children, was in an Oklahoma City rehab facility at the time and has not been charged.

Cora Twombly’s 16-year-old daughter reportedly helped investigators crack the case, telling cops that her mom and her husband had left the evening before on what they described to her as a “mission.” She said the pair arrived back home and asked her to clean their Chevy pickup truck, court documents said.

The two, along with Adams and Cullum, were said to be members of a religious extremist group with an anti-government bent, calling themselves “God’s Misfits.” The group had allegedly tried and failed in February to kill Butler, buying burner phones and stun guns at a local Walmart for the job, authorities said.

“How can you hate the mother of your grandchildren so much that you want to end her life?” Butler’s aunt told KFDA last week.

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