A person of interest has been identified after four missing men were found dismembered with gunshot wounds in a river in eastern Oklahoma last week.
The Okmulgee Police Department announced that Joe Kennedy, 67, was arrested Monday in Daytona Beach Shores, Fla., for allegedly driving a stolen vehicle. He has been identified as a “person of interest” in connection with the deaths of Mark Chastain, 32, Billy Chastain, 30, Mike Sparks, 32 and Alex Stevens, 29.
Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said Tuesday that Kennedy would be extradited to Okmulgee County for questioning.
Four men were reported missing at Okmulgee Police Department overnight. Mark Chastain 32 from Okmulgee, Billy…
Posted by Okmulgee Police Department on Tuesday, October 11, 2022
“The District Attorney and the Sheriff will begin the process to return Kennedy to Okmulgee County,” Prentice said. “The investigation into the murder is ongoing and investigators are following leads daily. Additional information will be relayed as it becomes available.
He did not mention whether charges would be brought against Kennedy. Prentice also noted that they would revoke a suspended ten-year prison sentence that Kennedy received in connection with a shooting in 2012.
The New York Post reported that one of the victims pinged his phone at a junkyard owned by Kennedy the night of their disappearance.
“A search of a nearby junkyard revealed evidence of a ‘violent event’ and police were looking to speak to Kennedy, who was questioned by cops on Friday before disappearing a day later,” wrote the media, citing the police.
When Kennedy was interviewed by investigators on Friday, he claimed he did not know the four men, according to Prentice via The Associated Press.
On the night of October 9, the four men – who were close friends – disappeared after they were last seen leaving Billy Chastian’s house on bicycles.
The remains were found Friday at Deep Fork River in Okmulgee — located about 40 miles south of Tulsa — and confirmed Monday to belong to the four missing men. Police noted that the bodies of the four men had gunshot wounds and had been dismembered, but the official cause of death has not been determined. No firearms or bicycles were found near the scene.
Police suggested all four victims were planning to commit a crime the night of their disappearance, based on an interview with a person who was asked to participate but declined, ABC News reported. Details of the alleged crime are unknown.
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