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Missing NH Couple Confirmed Dead in TX; Deaths Ruled Homicides

James and Michelle Butler, of Rumney, New Hampshire, were found buried in a shallow grave on Padre Island near Corpus Christi

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Two bodies found buried at a Texas beach are those of a missing New Hampshire couple, authorities say.

The bodies have been positively identified as 48-year-old James Butler and his 46-year-old wife Michelle, the Kleberg County Sheriff's Office said Friday. Their deaths have been ruled homicides by the Nueces Medical Examiner's Office.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the Butler’s on the tragic loss of their loved ones,” read a statement from the Kleberg County Sheriff's Office.

The Rumney couple was reported missing on Oct. 23 after family and friends lost contact with them.

The Butler's were last known to have set up their truck and RV trailer in the area of Beach Marker 263 on Padre Island in Kleberg County around Tuesday, Oct. 15.

A friend reported they were last in contact with them on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

On Sunday, Oct. 27, a Kleberg County deputy found what appeared to be human remains around 6:45 p.m. in a shallow grave on Padre Island, near Corpus Christi. Given nightfall, law enforcement began investigating the site on Monday, at which point they recovered the remains of a male and a female.

Officials are working to identify persons of interest and are attempting to find the victims’ truck and RV trailer.

The sheriff’s office says it cannot release all details of the active investigation at this time but will do so at an appropriate time.

The investigation is ongoing.

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