Found Deceased TX - James, 48 & Michelle Butler, 46, driving RV to Fort Lauderdale from Corpus Christi, 14 Oct 2019

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by GuyfromCanada, Oct 25, 2019.

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  1. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

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    It would definitely be a line of inquiry I’d look into. It could be someone they had recently met at the RV Park or someone they had met elsewhere who knew where they were going to be. It’s very common to make plans to meet up with RVing acquaintances along the way. Usually it works out great because most RVers are nice people, but I can see that it could go south if you happened to connect with the rare criminal.
     


  2. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    Who else but someone familiar with the area would share the inside tip that it's free 3 miles South? Why pay another week of service when it's free. Were they inclined to go for a freebie if the person offering the freebie seemed friendly and familiar?

    What if an illegal Mexican told the couple that after 2 weeks paying fees that they could get it all free 3 miles South? Would they pack up and move 3 miles South?

    From the sounds of it, I would say no.
     
  3. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

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    BBM

    @otto, I really think it could just as easily, or perhaps more easily be an American citizen giving them that tip. Just because it’s close to the border doesn’t mean it has to be an illegal. I know you don’t mean it to be offensive, but it’s unfairly stereotyping people. There are plenty of native born criminals. They must have met lots of people at their oil rig job and other places. It could be anyone.
     
  4. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    In many ways, this seems like luring. That is, they were parked at an RV park for two weeks until Oct 14. Then they checked out. They were heading 3 miles South, where parking is free. Two days later, on Oct 16, was the last text message, and a week after checkout on Oct 21 their vehicles crossed the border to Mexico. Their bodies were found 3 miles South of checkout.

    It seems odd that they left the RV lot to save money, but perhaps they felt like locals when they travelled South?

    As seasoned travellers, would they make a rookie mistake of following a stranger (new friend), and potentially illegal-Mexican, 3 miles down the beach with a 2018 truck and an RV. Were they prone to random spontaneous trailblazing?
     
  5. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    I think so too. I'm trying to put myself in their shoes, and wondering what would lead me to give up perfectly good electricity and plumbing for the ecologically protected "bowl" that has been destroyed by recent ATV activity. This doesn't make a lot of sense. Day trip? Maybe.

    Did they personally check-out on October 14 and state that they were heading South?
     
  6. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    A text message was sent on Oct 16. Is there any information about the content of the message?
     
  7. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

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    The fact that they were still working while camping tells me they were on a budget of some kind. And some RV Parks in popular areas have a two week limit. Or you get a better rate for two weeks but if you stay a little longer you pay a much higher nightly rate. Or they just thought it would be a neat change for a day or two.

    The one time we boon-docked, we left the RV Park in town to drive out a road with a beautiful view of Mt. Whitney on the east side of the Sierras. The scenery was spectacular. We had a generator, propane, and water and waste tanks, so we were fine for a few days. It was very peaceful.
     
  8. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    Maybe. It's possible the killer was someone they had contact with previously. Maybe someone in town even. Even an offhand comment like "You should try the beach camping - it's quiet, it's free..etc."

    Perhaps the couple mentioned something about money running short or paying too much to camp at Padre Bali. I did read where they learned somehow that they could camp for free on the beach. That could have been something they read on line as well, though.

    According to family, Michelle posted photos and descriptions to SM regularly as well as being in contact with someone almost every day. If LE has access to this, then they surely have a timeline of where they where previously and maybe even something about the spot they were killed by.
     
  9. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    Would a pulled trailer type RV have an attached GPS? We have a Jayco and it doesn't have one. I guess one can be placed there, sort of like the HUM device from Verizon.

    I've not read any info on that. Could be though. LE much have watched a ton of footage at all the border crossings especially in order to find the image of someone else driving across. Maybe a GPS tracker led to them concentrate on Del Rio. Who knows? I'm definitely hypothesizing. IOW, JMO
     
  10. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    Or having to pick up another person. More hypothesizing here, but say person stole truck and then someone else found out there was also an RV - go back and get it. Risky for sure. Or original person didn't now how to hook up trailer - went for an accomplice.

    Or possible M & J weren't killed right away? Only silenced? I still wonder if there was any usage of their ATM or credit cards after they stopped making contact with family. JMO
     
  11. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    Some confusion as to when the couple left home to begin their travels. This article says June (2018? 2019?) Another report I found stated they left in summer 2018. Gotta love MSM

    Also mentioned here is that Michelle posted regularly. IOW, she left a trail. BBM

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/crim...long-missing-new-hampshire-couple-police-say/

    "When James and Michelle Butler left New Hampshire in June in a pickup truck and a secondhand RV trailer, the couple stayed in near-constant contact with friends and family.

    Out West, they alerted relatives when they would be off the grid and reached out as soon as their service returned, recalled James’s sister, Deborah van Loon. Loved ones looked forward to regular FaceTime calls and Facebook photos.

    By mid-October, the communication had stopped."
     
  12. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    Yes - that James wanted his home in NH to be sold or put onto the market. Something to the effect of wishing to sell their home and IMO continue traveling and living in the RV.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/crim...long-missing-new-hampshire-couple-police-say/

    The couple got their RV after James, who had traveled the world with the Navy, said that now he wanted to see the United States. By fall, van Loon said, the Butlers were having so much fun on the road that they had put their Rumney, N.H., house on the market to become long-term “RVers.“

    Note: I did read that this was part of the conversation last time James spoke with family Oct 16 - to keep showing the house.
     
  13. oceanstarryeyes

    oceanstarryeyes Well-Known Member

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    What about video from the nearest place that they would have stopped for gas after checking out from the Camp Ground.
    At some point that Truck had to be fueled by someone before crossing the border.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  14. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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  15. CrimeDawg123

    CrimeDawg123 Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking the same thing. I'm guessing they just went to a ranch owned by a cartel and stayed until the right time to go across.
     
  16. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    Time to check out ranches for 3 new cats?
     
  17. thx4_medic_Babby

    thx4_medic_Babby Devout hatred of evil.

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    What a heartbreaking story. I didn’t hear about this until a Yahoo! email sent me the headline this morning, and I’ve been reading everything I could about the couple.

    Unfortunately, it’s a shame ‘journalism’ didn’t let me know the RV was seen crossing the border by an unknown assailant. That tidbit is... you know, helpful.
     
  18. mynoyb

    mynoyb Well-Known Member

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    There are apps that list free camping. Free camping on part of Padre Island shows up on my app.
     
  19. BeanieBod

    BeanieBod Well-Known Member

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    No, they were working a gate guard job in West Texas before going to Corpus Christi. They had been in an RV park but decided to move to the beach before heading to Florida. The GPS was disabled.
     
  20. oceanblueeyes

    oceanblueeyes Well-Known Member

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    Hi Lilibet!

    I believe there could be several reasons for stealing the truck, and RV. The one you've listed sure could be a valid reason for doing so.

    I also think it's possible the murderers stole both because it would be a way to be able to hide out in remote areas undetected if neccessary, while on the way to crossing into Mexico.

    Imo, having their vehicle, and RV means they didn't even have to go to RV parks along the way, and could 'rough' it out in remote wooded areas instead.

    Also I think they thought if they took the truck, and left the RV behind others would notice the couple wasnt returning. This way others would have assumed they had just decided to move on.

    It's scary how several cases in the past few years have involved campers, hikers or even victims who were selling rural land, and have wound up as murder victims with mostly strangers being the offenders or someone they had just met casually in the areas, but had never really known.

    It's heartbreaking this couple also crossed path with their own pure evil. :(

    Jmhoo
     
    truetexan, MrsM, Barlow and 10 others like this.
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