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‘Foul play’ suspected after 2 women never showed up to pick up kids, Oklahoma officials say

Authorities in Oklahoma said Wednesday they suspect “foul play” in the disappearance of two Kansas women who failed to show up to pick up children last week.

Veronica Butler, 27, and Jilian Kelley, 39, were traveling together to pick up the children, according to an endangered missing persons advisory shared by the Texas County Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook page.

“They never made it to the pickup location,” the advisory said. Their vehicle was later found abandoned in the Oklahoma county.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the women’s disappearance, said on X, that information from the abandoned vehicle indicates “foul play.”

“We are still searching for these victims, and there are no arrests at this time,” the agency said.

Texas County Sheriff’s Department

While it is unclear whose children the two women were looking to pick up, it is presumed Butler and Kelley are friends, the state bureau has said.

Butler’s stepmother, Guadalupe Torres, told NBC News that Veronica had been engaged in a heated custody dispute. Court records show a custody case was opened in 2021.

Kelley has brown hair, blue eyes and a butterfly tattoo on her left forearm, the advisory said. Butler has red hair, green eyes and several tattoos.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the women is asked to contact the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation at or 1-800-522-8017.

CORRECTION (April 4, 2024, 4:25 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the timeline of the custody battle. The case opened in 2021, not 2015.

Antonio Planas

Antonio Planas is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital. 

Noah Osborne



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