The Okmulgee Police Department has confirmed that the four dismembered remains found in an Oklahoma river on Friday belonged to a group of missing males and that a person of interest is being sought in connection with their murders.
Mark Chastain, 32; Billy Chastain, 30; Alex Stephens, 29; and Mike Sparks, 32, who were reported missing throughout the previous Monday night, were among the four men whose bodies were pulled from the Deep Fork River, southeast of the city of Okmulgee, according to police chief Joe Prentice on Monday.
According to authorities, the males, who were close friends, are said to have left Billy Chastain’s house in Okmulgee on Sunday night while riding bicycles. According to a witness who informed police they were invited to go with the males to “hit a lick big enough for all of them,” Prentice said, investigators suspect the men planned to do some sort of illegal activity when they left a property.
Police, however, said they were unaware of the men’s plans and whereabouts. While searching a junkyard, investigators came up empty-handed, but they claimed to have found proof of a “violent occurrence” on a neighbouring property, according to Prentice.
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Despite not naming a suspect, authorities said Joe Kennedy, the proprietor of two salvage yards, is a person of interest. Kennedy has not been charged, but according to Prentice, “investigators would like to speak with him again.”
Kennedy may be suicidal and was reported missing Saturday night. According to a Facebook update from Prentice, Kennedy’s blue PT Cruiser was discovered abandoned by authorities on Monday in Morris, Oklahoma.
The investigators are investigating the origin of the vehicle. They have no idea what kind of car Kennedy might be driving as of Monday. The men’s causes of death are still under investigation. Still, authorities have established that all four of them were shot and that their bodies were mutilated before being thrown into the river.
The majority of the men’s remains were found by police on Friday night, according to Prentice, and the final fragments were found on Monday morning. Because “it would take a fair amount of time to put the bodies in the condition that they were and then dump them in the river,” Prentice speculated that the victims were dumped in the river somewhere between late Sunday night and early Monday morning.