Kansas mothers who mysteriously disappeared on way to pick up their children in Oklahoma were ‘shot with puddles of blood found outside their abandoned vehicle’ – as it is revealed one was pastor’s wife and the other involved in bitter custody battle

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Written By Maya Cantina
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  • Veronica Butler, 27, and Jilian Kelley, 39, were traveling together to pick up Butler’s children, ages 6 and 8, on March 30 
  • Butler is going through a nasty divorce and custody battle with her husband, Wrangler Cole Rickman 
  • Multiple puddles of blood were found near the vehicle in the desolate Oklahoma panhandle 

Two missing Kansas women whose car was mysteriously found abandoned on the side of the road in Oklahoma were reportedly shot and puddles of blood discovered outside the vehicle. 

Veronica Butler, 27, and Jilian Kelley, 39, were traveling together to pick up Butler’s children, ages 6 and 8, on March 30. New details have emerged about both women.

Butler is going through a nasty divorce and custody battle with her husband, Wrangler Cole Rickman, and the children were staying with her ex-husband’s mother.

Kelley, described as more an acquaintance than a friend of Butler’s, is a pastor’s wife who allegedly supervises Butler’s visitations with her children.

On March 20, ten days before they went missing, Butler filed a petition in court that would grant her more time with her children, with her goal being full custody, according to News Nation. 

Jilian Kelley, 39

Veronica Butler (pictured left), 27, and Jilian Kelley (pictured right), 39, were traveling together to pick up Kelley’s children on March 30

Multiple puddles of blood were found near the vehicle in the desolate Oklahoma panhandle, which was found 1,000 feet off of Oklahoma State Highway 95, near a school Butler attended and graduated from in 2015

Multiple puddles of blood were found near the vehicle in the desolate Oklahoma panhandle, which was found 1,000 feet off of Oklahoma State Highway 95, near a school Butler attended and graduated from in 2015

Court filings claimed that Butler and the children’s grandmother were not getting along amid the nasty battle. 

Butler has weekly, court-mandated visits every Saturday with the kids, with Kelley one of four people listed as supervisors of those visits. 

ABC 7 reported that the visit was also meant to celebrate Butler’s 6-year-old daughter’s birthday. 

They had made the 45-minute drive from Hugoton to a gas station in Eva, located near the Four Corners section of Oklahoma, but disappeared, with the car found just three miles from where they were supposed to meet.  

Multiple puddles of blood were found near the vehicle in the desolate Oklahoma panhandle, which was found 1,000 feet off of Oklahoma State Highway 95, near a school Butler attended and graduated from in 2015. 

Kelley is the wife of Pastor Heath Kelley, who serves at two churches in Kansas and Nebraska.

On April 3, Kelley’s Willow Christian Church in Nebraska posted to Facebook: ‘We ask that you continue to pray for Jilian and Veronica and their families as the search and investigation continue.’ 

‘Pray for strength, wisdom and faith for everyone involved. We appreciate everyone who has shared the prayer requests. We are getting messages from all over the country of people praying for these two women and their families.’ 

Butler and Kelley were traveling together to pick up Kelley's children, ages 6 and 8, on March 30. New details have emerged about both women. Butler is going through a nasty divorce and custody battle with her husband, Wrangler Cole Rickman, and the children were staying with her ex-husband's mother

Butler and Kelley were traveling together to pick up Kelley’s children, ages 6 and 8, on March 30. New details have emerged about both women. Butler is going through a nasty divorce and custody battle with her husband, Wrangler Cole Rickman, and the children were staying with her ex-husband’s mother

Kelley is the wife of Pastor Heath Kelley, who serves at two churches in Kansas and Nebraska

Kelley is the wife of Pastor Heath Kelley, who serves at two churches in Kansas and Nebraska

Hugoton First Christian Church has also offered prayers on Facebook, while friends and family have started a Meal Train page for Kelley’s family. 

Authorities are continuing to look for clues of foul play but have not conducted a large scale search and hope is running out.

‘It’s been over a week,’ Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s Public Information Manager Hunter McKee said Tuesday, according to Fox News. 

‘We are hopeful that we can find them alive, but obviously it’s becoming more and more challenging.’

Butler is described as 5 feet, 4 inches tall with red hair and green eyes. She has several tattoos including, a Chinese symbol on her left forearm, and a sunflower on her left shoulder. 

She was dressed in a blue short sleeve shirt, denim shorts and lightweight shoes by the brand, Hey Dudes.  

Kelley, who also from Hugoton, Kansas was last seen on Saturday, with Butler.  

The blue-eyed woman is pictured in the Missing person flyer with blonde hair, but her hair color is now brown, and has a butterfly tattoo on her left forearm.

Court filings claimed that Butler and the children's grandmother were not getting along amid the nasty battle

Court filings claimed that Butler and the children’s grandmother were not getting along amid the nasty battle 

Butler has weekly, court-mandated visits every Saturday with the kids, with Kelley one of four people listed as supervisors of those visits

Butler has weekly, court-mandated visits every Saturday with the kids, with Kelley one of four people listed as supervisors of those visits

The endangered missing person flyer that lists details about the women's disappearance

The endangered missing person flyer that lists details about the women’s disappearance 

She is believed to be wearing a long sleeve shirt, white washed blue jeans, and tan beige shoes. 

The case remains under investigation by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the FBI. 

OSBI has previously said that there is evidence of foul play, previously calling it a ‘suspicious disappearance.’ 

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

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