Search Warrants Detail Discovery of Suspects in Oklahoma Murders of Kansas Women


It didn’t take very long for the Texas County Sheriff’s Office in Oklahoma to identify the suspects in the March killings of two Kansas women, according to search warrants released Thursday.

The bodies of Jilian Kelley and Veronica Butler were discovered in a chest freezer buried in a cow pasture, according to the documents. Butler and Kelley were traveling for a supervised visit between Butler and her children. Kelley was to be a court-ordered monitor during the visit.

The kids were staying with their grandmother, Tifany Adams, one of five people charged with first-degree murder.

Authorities believe the killings stem from a bitter custody fight between Kelley and Adams, the mother of the children’s father.

The documents say Adams had plotted to kill Butler for at least a month and had even staked out Butler’s home in Hugoton, Kansas.

Also revealed was the fact the victims’ phones were discovered in a pickup truck owned by Cole Twombly, another of the suspects in the deaths. Investigators also found white cloth gloves and DNA evidence, said the documents.

Investigators also seized a trailer used to haul horses or cattle from Twombly’s property and recovered what may be blood stains from inside the trailer.

Police believe the stock trailer was used to move the women from the place where their car was found to the place where their buried bodies were discovered.

The fifth suspect, Paul Grice, was said to have had suspicious conversations with friends in the days after the women disappeared. In one, he asked someone if they knew anyone who might help him leave the country. He also wanted to know how long DNA would last if it was buried 15 feet in dirt, according to the documents.

There are also conflicting stories about how Grice sustained a cut on his finger. He said it happened when he was working on his truck, but he was seen at an Easter event with a bandage on that finger one day after the women were killed.

The documents also indicated that many people have come forward to tell authorities what they saw and heard in the days surrounding the deaths of Kelley and Butler.

Rich Johnson
Rich Johnson
Digital Content Producer.

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