CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — After being reported missing for over a week, the bodies of a New Hampshire couple were found buried at a South Texas beach last Friday, according to investigators.
The bodies have been identified as James Butler, 48, and Michelle Butler, 46 of Rumney, New Hampshire. The remains were found buried in a shallow grave on Padre Island near Corpus Christi last weekend. The Nueces Medical Examiner's Office have ruled the deaths as homicides. A full investigation is currently underway.
“At present law enforcement officers are working on the investigation and are working on identification of persons of interest and attempting to find the whereabouts of the victims’ truck and RV trailer,” the Kleberg County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Friday. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the Butler’s on the tragic loss of their loved ones.”
The couple was first reported missing on October 23. Friends and family members indicated the husband and wife had been traveling across the county in an RV since June of last year in search of employment. They most recently worked as security for oil rigs in Texas and were last heard from on October 16. According to Deborah van Loon, James Butler’s sister, the pair kept close contact with family members.
“We all loved what they were doing and they loved sharing it with us,” said van Loon, indicating the couple planned to travel to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida by November.
Officials announced they are currently working to identify persons of interest and are attempting to recover the victims’ RV trailer. An official from the Kleberg County sheriff’s office has yet to release full details of the investigation or how the victims were murdered. A vigil was held in the town of Rumney over the weekend in honor of the couple.
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