Texas investigators seek two in connection to New Hampshire couple’s murder

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Authorities in Texas said they are looking for a man and a woman in connection to the murder of James and Michelle Butler, a New Hampshire couple whose bodies were found last week on Padre Island in Corpus Christi.

Police released a photo Monday that they said was captured by border security at the Texas-Mexico border. The man is driving a truck that is believed to have belonged to the Butlers, police said. Both the man and the woman have tattoos, police said, and may be local to the Corpus Christi area.

Two people are being sought in connection to the murder. Police said the man is driving a truck that is believed to have belonged to the couple.

The Kleberg County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Friday that two bodies found in a shallow grave on Padre Island were positively identified as the Butlers. While their deaths have been ruled homicides, the exact manner is being withheld.

According to the sheriff’s office, James Butler,48, and Michelle Butler, 46, had not been heard from since Oct. 14. Police said the couple’s last confirmed location was at Padre Balli Park around noon earlier in October.

A poster released by the Kleberg County Sheriff’s Office in Kingsville, Texas, shows James and Michelle Butler, of Rumney, N.H., whose remains were found in a shallow grave on Padre Island. (Kleberg County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

According to a timeline laid out by police, they say the couple parked their truck and camper on Oct. 15 and were seen on surveillance images on the Oct. 21 crossing the southern border into Mexico. Two days later, family members reported the couple missing. They told the sheriff’s office that the Butlers were likely headed to a part-time job in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. They were supposed to get there on Nov. 20, 2019.

On Oct. 27, investigators responded to an area in the sand dunes commonly known as “the bowl,” after a cellphone believed to belong to the missing couple pinged in the area.

A vigil Sunday in Rumney, New Hampshire, honored the Butlers as “caring people who were always willing to land a helping hand to people in their community.”

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