KLEBERG COUNTY, Texas – Two bodies found buried on a South Texas beach were identified as a missing New Hampshire couple, investigators announced Friday.
The deaths are being investigated as a homicide, according to a news release from the Kleberg County Sheriff’s Office.
On Friday evening, Kleberg County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the bodies found in a shallow grave on Sunday were identified as James Lawrence Butler III, 48, and Michelle Elaine Butler, 46.
Relatives of the Butler’s were notified.
The Butlers set up their truck and RV near Beach Marker 263 on Padre Island in Kleberg County on Oct. 15, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
The couple was reported missing by family members on Oct. 16 and a Kleberg County deputy found the bodies on Sunday evening. The scene was processed Monday, the release states.
“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 release reads.
The couple most recently had worked as gate guards for oil rigs in Texas, checking vehicles in and out, said Butler’s sister, Deborah van Loon, of Rumney, New Hampshire on Saturday.
The Butlers have five grown kids, van Loon told local KZTV. She told the outlets that Nov. 2, James Butler’s birthday, would be the hardest of days. He would have been 49 years old.
Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow Alexandria Rodriguez on Twitter: @caller_ar