'Persons of interest' in murders of New Hampshire couple found in shallow grave were seen crossing border in their RV
James and Michelle Butler were found buried in a shallow grave on a beach in Corpus Christi, Texas over the weekend
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS: The police have released photographs of two persons in connection with the murders of a New Hampshire couple whose bodies were found in a shallow grave on a Texas beach last week.
The alleged suspects were captured on camera driving the victims' RV and truck over the Mexican border just days after the couple went off the radar.
On October 16, friends and family members of James and Michelle Butler grew concerned after the couple suddenly stopped communicating while making their way to Florida to sell Christmas trees for the season.
Police recovered their bodies from a shallow beach grave in Corpus Christi, Texas over the weekend.
No further details regarding their injuries were released, but authorities said the pair may have been dead for several days if not weeks before they were found, and that they were still looking for a suspect.
However, police released a screengrab from a border surveillance video on Monday, showing an unidentified man and woman driving the Butlers' vehicle across the border and into Mexico on October 21.
Police are now urging the public to help identify the pair as they would like to interrogate them about how they came in possession of the truck.
Anyone with related information should call 361-595-8500 or 361-592-4636. They can also email tips to [email protected]
As per police description, the man has fair hair and large ear piercings. Both the male and his female companion have "distinctive" tattoos, but the woman's face is not visible in the shot.
"I don't know if they were too trusting, people seek them out because they're friendly," said Kleberg County Sheriff Richard Kirkpatrick. "It's an area that many people don't know each other, come together because someone will start up a BBQ or spark up a fire. What we really need is some connotation to put the individuals into context."
It is unclear whether Mexican authorities are cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation.
While police have not suggested any possible motive as yet, they are exploring the possibility that the couple was killed inside the trailer.
Speaking to CBS, John Matthews of Community Safety Initiative said it's "not very often we have a mobile crime scene if the crime was committed say in the trailer."
James and Michelle traveled the country in their RV, picking up work where they could find.
According to family members, the couple were heading south to Florida in order to escape the winter cold in New Hampshire and planned to sell Christmas trees.
Family and friends, who were always updated with the Butlers' whereabouts via Facebook posts, have been left devastated by their tragic deaths.