Kansas Moms’ Accused Murderers Were in Anti-Government Group, Cops Say

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

Probable cause affidavits for the suspects accused of murdering a pair of Kansas moms last month have revealed the bizarre circumstances surrounding the tragedy, including claims the quartet were part of an anti-government group who’d previously plotted to kill.

The slain women were Butler, a 27-year-old engulfed in a nasty custody dispute with her ex and his mom, and Jillian Kelley, a 38-year-old preacher’s wife who’d volunteered to supervise a visit between Butler and her kids on March 30.

Butler and Kelley never made it to that visit, however. They vanished after crossing the Kansas state line into the rural Oklahoma panhandle and were never seen alive again. Their vehicle, belonging to Butler, was found on a dirt path hundreds of feet off a highway.

Authorities said foul play was suspected in their disappearance, and an investigation revealed last week that the women were murdered and their bodies dumped. Police sources told NewsNation the women may have been executed, and that pools of blood were present near their vehicle.

Tifany Adams—the grandmother and guardian of Butler’s children—was charged with two counts of first degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree in connection to the crime on Saturday. Her boyfriend, Tad Bert Cullum, and two of her friends, Cora and Cole Earl Twombly, were arrested on the same charges.

Jilian Kelley smiles while posing for a photo.

Jilian Kelley, 39, was traveling to Oklahoma to supervise a meetup between Veronica Butler and her children.


In a probable cause affidavit for Adams, obtained by The Daily Beast, prosecutors allege that each of the four suspects were in an anti-government group named “God’s Misfits” that met weekly.

Despite the religious invocation, the document suggested the group had violent tendencies—particularly against Butler, who they allegedly plotted to kill outside her Kansas home in February but failed to do so because she never came outside.

The affidavit said police interviewed the 16-year-old daughter of Cora and Cole Twombly, who alleged that her parents suggested they killed the Kansas mothers in a conversation with her.

That teen, identified only as “CW,” said her parents told her on March 29 that they’d be missing the following morning because they were going on a “mission.” They were gone when she woke up the next day, but she told police that they returned later on March 30 and said that something had gone wrong.

The document said the teen detailed how her parents, along with Adams and Cullum, teamed up to divert Butler and Kelley’s vehicle from its drive to Adams’ home.

“CW asked Cora what had happened and was told that things did not go as planned, but they would not have to worry about her (Butler) again,” the affidavit said.

The affidavit said CW “asked about Kelley and why she had to die,” to which her parents responded, “she wasn’t innocent either” because she’d supported Butler.

Grandma, 3 Others Arrested For Murder of Missing Kansas Moms

CW allegedly told detectives that her parents planned to throw an anvil into Butler’s windshield—since they regularly fall off work vehicles—and hoped to stage her hopeful death as being the result of a car accident. It was not said if that plan was actually attempted or not.

When CW asked her mother if the bodies were put in a well, the affidavit said Cora Twombly replied, “Something like that.”

The group’s anger with Butler appeared to stem from her attempts to be regain custody of her children. Just just 10 days before the women disappeared, Butler had filed a petition in court that’d see them be taken from Adams if a judge sided with her.

Wrangler Rickman, Butler’s ex and father of their two children, had legal custody of their kids, but he allegedly didn’t see them much himself. The affidavit said he’d been kept away from them by Adams and Cullum.

The affidavit said Rickman’s grandmother told investigators that her grandson said earlier this year that there was a plot to kill Butler. She claimed that her grandson told her they didn’t have to worry about the custody battle much longer because “Adams had it under control” and that they planned to “take out Veronica at drop off,” the affidavit stated.

Also uncovered in the investigation were web searches by Adams that sought answers on taser pain level, gun shops, prepaid cell phones, and how to get someone out of their house—the last of which allegedly came when a phone for Adams was pinged near Butler’s home in Hugoton, Kansas.

Veronica Butler smiles in a selfie.

Veronica Butler, 27, was in the middle of a nasty custody battle at the time of her murder, authorities said.


The affidavit added that, before the murders, the suspects had purchased burner phones, which were found near the scene of the crime, and tasers, which may have been used to subdue Butler and Kelley.

Authorities said in a news conference Monday that they had not confirmed that a pair of bodies found over the weekend belonged to Butler and Kelley or not, but added there was “no” chance the two were still alive. Authorities did not say where exactly the bodies were found.

The suspects are due in court for the first time on Wednesday.

GoFundMe fundraisers for Butler and Kelley are yet to gain much traction, with a pair of them raising approximately $5,000 combined.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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