James and Michelle Butler of Rumney, New Hampshire evidently intended to have a nice vacation at Padre Island, Texas, near Corpus Christi. The ended up dead… and their bodies were just found.
The couple set up camp at Padre Island during the week of October 15, but relatives reported them missing when they couldn’t be contacted on October 23. James Butler is retired US Navy and he and his wife were full-time RVers.
Several state agencies were searching the area for the missing couple on Sunday, Oct. 27, when a deputy located the woman’s remains in a shallow grave, the sheriff’s office said. The man’s body was later discovered under hers.
The male victim’s sister reportedly talked with Texas law enforcement officials who confirmed that her brother’s RV and truck crossed into Mexico without her brother at the wheel.
According to the victim’s sister, Deborah van Loon, the couple just after James Butler retired from the Navy. He had seen many sights in the world but wanted to see everything he could here in the states.
James and his wife had bought their RV trailer in 2018 and had been travelling extensively. It is believed that they were ultimately headed to Ft Lauderdale, Florida for a part-time job.
“My brother always said that when he was in the Navy, he traveled all over the world and saw all kinds of sights, but he never really got to see the sights in the United States,” van Loon said.
Over the course of their trip, the couple regularly kept in touch with family members through FaceTime and Facebook, van Loon said, but when they didn’t answer calls from relatives, they felt they needed to alert the police.
“They never missed one of those calls,” van Loon said. “Somebody in the family, or one of their friends, spoke with them almost every day.”
Police did not say why they believe the couple was killed, but van Loon said the area where their bodies were found has supposedly become more and more dangerous over the years.
“There are a lot of unsolved cases down there: missing persons, carjackings, kidnappings, brutal murders. They’re happening down there more frequently and it’s a common denominator type of thing,” van Loon said. “I really hope that my brother’s life wasn’t taken in vain and that it will cause that community and that area to get better.”
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In the meantime, this week the search for a missing 3-year-old in Alabama came to a tragic end after police located her body dumped in a landfill…
After a young girl went missing from a birthday party in Birmingham, Alabama two weeks ago, authorities launched an all out manhunt to find her and bring her home safely.
But on Tuesday, that search came to a heartbreaking end.
During a press briefing, Birmingham police announced that they had discovered the body of 3-year-old Kamille McKinney in a dumpster at a landfill, ending the state-wide search.
McKinney was last seen on October 12 during a birthday party at the Tom Brown Village public housing complex, according to a report from NBC News.
Police have two people in custody in association with the crime, a male and a female. They were identified by authorities as Patrick Stallworth and Derick Brown.
They say that the suspects saw their chance to take the child without anyone noticing and they took it, snatching McKinney and driving away in their dark SUV.
The video was recovered from a surveillance camera within the Tom Brown Housing complex at about the same time as Kamille Mckinney was reported missing. If you are one of the people in the video, we need your help with the investigation! Please call at 205-254-7777. pic.twitter.com/lvaH1XSjuR
— Birmingham Police (@BhamPolice) October 18, 2019
“We believe they saw an opportunity to take a young child, which they did,” Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said.
Investigators are still trying to piece together details as to why McKinney was taken and how she ultimately met her demise.
Police are hoping that the tragic event doesn’t go unnoticed to parents around the country.
“I hope that this message is not lost to young mothers, to grandmothers, and to the entire Birmingham community: it only takes a split second,” Smith said. “We can no longer assume that everyone is part of the village that is trying to raise the child.”
The mayor of Birmingham also spoke out, saying that the unimaginable pain that the family is going through will not go unnoticed. Prosecutors are seeking capital murder and kidnapping charges for the suspects.
“As chief has said, and I think I need to make this point, the perpetrator of this crime will be brought to justice and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Mayor Randall Woodfin.
JUST IN: Authorities believe they have recovered the body of Kamille McKinney, the 3-year-old girl who was apparently kidnapped near her home earlier this month. https://t.co/4z8hH0dUIb
— ABC News (@ABC) October 23, 2019
But Woodfin also called for peace, wanting the community to not focus on who was to blame, but rather the tragic and terrible loss of a young girl who would never get the chance to grow up.
“Tonight — right now at this moment that we’re standing in — I ask one thing of this community: not to take sides,” Woodfin said, according to NBC. “Not to finger-point. But if there is any finger-pointing, it’s to the suspect who would kidnap a 3-year-old. I ask every member of community to stand in solidarity beside this broken family.”
Birmingham's Mayor Randall Woodfin announced a vigil to honor Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney. https://t.co/cK66oKWTLA
— WJHL (@WJHL11) October 23, 2019
The governor of Alabama also tweeted her condolences about the young girl’s case.
“The heart of our state is broken, but our resolve must be to do everything we can to avoid this tragedy from happening to another family,” Gov. Kay Ivey wrote on social media.
The suspects remain in police custody while authorities attempt to secure warrants for capital murder and kidnapping.