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Butlers' sister encouraged by new charges, but the loss and pain remain

Tampering, theft, firearms indictments announced in N.H. couple's murder
Posted at 9:44 PM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 23:26:41-05

KINGSVILLE, Texas — The family of a murdered New Hampshire couple spoke with KRIS 6 News on Wednesday, after the Kleberg County District Attorney announced indictments for the suspects connected to the murder.

The indictments against Adam Williams and Amanda Noverr -- which were not for murder -- were charges for evidence tampering, felony theft, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Deborah Van Loon, James Butler's sister, said she was flooded with emotion this morning when she got the update on the investigation. But she added, it's a step in the right direction in seeking justice for the Butlers.

"You just get those overwhelming emotions, that just choke you up and make you feel all that pain again," she said.

That pain began in mid-October when her brother, James, and his wife, Michelle, were first reported missing. Days later, the family got the news, that the Butlers bodies were found in a shallow grave on Padre Island.

The suspects have been in custody since early November 2019. That's when they were extradited back to the United States after being seen at a U.S./Mexico border crossing driving a stolen truck and RV that belonged to James and Michelle Butler, whose bodies were found buried on Padre Island.

"A day doesn't go by that we don't feel it like, as soon as you wake up enough for your mind to get in order," she said. "It just comes crashing back."

Kleberg County District Attorney John T. Hubert couldn't give the family much information about the status of the investigation, however, the indictments announced today give prosecutors time to work on other possible charges such as murder or capital murder.

"There's a lot of evidence that has to be tested, and we've decided not to file those (charges) at this time," Hubert said. "We're going to wait and see what the evidence shows to see if they're appropriate or not."

While a trial is on the horizon for the suspects, family members such as Van Loon are left wanting justice for the Butlers.

"We just do our best to get through it," Van Loon said, "and just hope that things keep going in the right direction."

Williams and Noverr are being held on a $1.2 million bond each.

Trial dates have not been set for the indictments announced today.