KINGSVILLE, Texas — An arrest affidavit released Thursday by the Kleberg County Sheriff's Department indicated that suspect Adam Curtis Williams was stopped for not wearing a seat belt on Padre Island National Seashore three days before James and Michelle Butler went missing.
The suspect was issued a warning citation for not wearing a seat belt in the missing truck on Oct. 13 -- three days before the New Hampshire couple went missing from their camping site in the area.
The traffic stop came on the north beach at Padre Island National Seashore, about one mile south of Malaquite Beach Pavilion. A park ranger's report indicates the man stopped was Williams.
The vehicle stopped by the ranger was a gray Chevrolet Silverado truck displaying a Utah license plate.
And on Nov. 4, Corpus Christi police informed investigators that an abandoned Chevrolet truck with the same Utah license plate was impounded at the Weber Bingo parking lot in Corpus Christi. It was the same truck seen in the traffic stop video by the park ranger at the earlier stop.
Investigators learned that on Oct. 17, 18 and 19, the Tex Star Wrecker Service received calls from the owner of Weber Bingo in Corpus Christi. It was towed by their service on Oct. 19.
Meanwhile, KRIS 6 reached out to Padre Island National Seashore to see if Williams' license was run when he was pulled over. The superintendent said he could not confirm or deny that, because it's part of an ongoing investigation.
However, if Williams' license was run, there would have been red flags that he is a wanted man in Utah. The superintendent said running someone's license who gets pulled over depends on the nature of the cause. In this case, Williams was pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. Although Williams reportedly had warrants for his arrest out of Utah, the park ranger gave him a warning.
Earlier today, Kleberg County Sheriff Richard Kirkpatrick also said that Amanda Noverr, Williams' girlfriend who was seen with him in a photo from the U.S./Mexico border, is in the custody of Mexican authorities. She is awaiting deportation to Houston.
A felony auto theft arrest warrant has also been issued for Noverr, facilitating her extradition back to the United States. She will be extradited with her 3-year-old child, who officials believe crossed into Mexico with the couple.
Kirkpatrick and Kleberg Co. District Attorney John Hubert held a news conference Thursday morning to announce Williams, a suspect in connection with the deaths of James and Michelle Butler, was extradited Wednesday afternoon. He was booked into the Kleberg Co. Jail late Wednesday night.
"This begins a longer chapter," Kirkpatrick said. "We have a lot to do in this case. We're confident that we'll have our case solved in the future."
A felony auto theft arrest warrant was issued for Williams on Tuesday. Williams is the man accused of stealing the New Hampshire couple's silver 2018 Chevrolet extended-cab truck, and white trailer. His bond is set at $1 million.
"And that (bond) would be echoed for Ms. Noverr as well," Kirkpatrick said.
The pair has not been charged with murder.
"At this point, they're only charged with felony theft and we're keeping our mind open as to other possibilities," Hubert said. "We have a lot of evidence ... we haven't really been able to go through all of it yet. Other charges will depend upon other evidence that we go through, and other facts."
Williams is scheduled to appear before Judge Jack Pulcher at 8:30 a.m. in the 105th District County in Kleberg Co. in Kingsville on Friday.
Noverr has been identified as the woman with Williams in a surveillance picture taken at the U.S./Mexico border crossing in the Butlers' stolen truck.
James and Michelle Butler were residents of New Hampshire passing through Texas on the way to a seasonal job in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. They were last seen alive at Padre Balli Park RV park on Oct. 15, according to the Kleberg Co. Sheriff's Office. They were reported missing Oct. 23 after relatives were unable to contact them, which they said was highly unusual.
"Based on where we are today, we want the public to know they are safe and we're here to protect them and we want them to know that the beach and Padre Island is a safe place to go out," Kirkpatrick said.
The Kleberg County authorities acknowledged the fact that a lot of information has been withheld in this case, but said that is the protocol they have chosen to protect the integrity of its investigation.
"We're sharing as much as as we feel that we can," Hubert said. "Often that's not as much as we would like, but if you're going to err, we're going to err on the side of caution because again, the ultimate goal is (to) ... find out who's responsible for what and to hold those people accountable."
Hubert said Kleberg County officials plan to investigate the deaths of 48-year-old James and 46-year-old Michelle Butler until they are satisfied they have a clear picture of what happened.
"Quite honestly, until this case is resolved, we will continue," he said. "There is no one time we stop. There isn't a silver-bullet moment where we say 'Oh, we have enough now, we can stop.'
"We will continue to search for evidence and if we ever charge someone, if we ever take someone to trial on this, we'll continue to search for evidence all the way up to the date of the trial."
KRIS 6 News reporter Ashley Portillo contributed to this story.