Authorities said Tuesday that a person of interest in the murders of four men whose bodies were found in pieces in an Oklahoma river last week was arrested in Florida on a charge that had nothing to do with the murders.
Okmulgee Police said that Joe Kennedy, 67, was caught near Daytona Beach Shores on Monday in a car that had been stolen. The prison record for Volusia County says that he is being held without bond for car theft.
Police said that the DA and sheriff will move Kennedy to Okmulgee County. The investigation into the murder is still going on, and leads are being followed every day.
Police have not said why Kennedy is a person of interest or a suspect in the deaths.
After being reported missing in Florida, Kennedy told officials that he was neither lost nor in danger. Jail records show that he was accused of grand theft auto and being on the run.
He is also wanted in Okmulgee County District Court for a shooting that happened there in 2012. The clerk of courts says that he will go in front of a Volusia County judge on Wednesday.
It is not clear if Kennedy has a lawyer. Friday night, the bodies of four men were found, but authorities haven’t said for sure if they are the men who went missing earlier this week.
While looking for bikers, four bodies were found in an Oklahoma river. Police Chief Joe Prentice says that four men went missing on October 9 after leaving Billy Chastain’s house on bikes.
Their bodies were found in a river near Okmulgee, a town of 11,000 people 35 miles south of Tulsa. The bodies were in bad shape.
Even though the cause and way of death are unknown, Prentice said that all of the people who died were shot. “All four bodies were broken up before they were dumped in the river, so it was hard to figure out who they were.”
The bodies were found over several days, and it’s not clear what detectives can learn from them. The chief said that it is harder to find evidence when there is water involved. No bikes or guns used to kill the person have been found.
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Police Suspect the Four Friends Were Plotting a Crime
Even though no one knows what killed the men, Prentice says that early investigation shows they were planning to commit a crime when they left Billy Chastain’s house.
The chief said at a news conference on Monday that the belief is based on “evidence presented by a witness who says they were asked to go with the men to quote, unquote, “hit a lick big enough for all of them.”
The Okmulgee Police Department gave this photo with no date to Billy Chastain, Mark Chastain, Alex Stevens, and Mike Sparks, all of Okmulgee. In Okmulgee, the four men were last seen.
The police chief says that the four missing men whose bodies were found in pieces in an Oklahoma river have been identified.
Prentice said, “That is the standard language for doing something illegal, but we don’t know what they were doing or where they planned to do it.”
After the men disappeared, the police said they thought at least two of them had cell phones. Investigators followed the phones and found that they went to two salvage yards, one about 5 miles from the river and the other about 10 to 12 miles away, Prentice told CNN on Saturday.
The chief said that afterward, police found “signs of a violent event” on the property next to one of these places.
On Monday, the police chief said, “We’d like to talk to a person of interest” in the case. But as of Saturday night, the person could be suicidal, according to Prentice, and they haven’t been seen since.
Now that the case is being treated as a murder investigation, the chief says that police won’t say as much about what’s going on “to protect the integrity of the investigation.”
“In my career, I’ve helped with more than 80 murders.” I’ve helped solve murders involving more than one victim. Prentice said, “I’ve worked on dismemberments before, but this one has the most victims and is the worst.”
Mark and Billy Chastain’s uncle, Jon Chastain, told CNN that the family was “shocked,” “outraged,” and “heartbroken” when police confirmed that the brothers and two friends had been killed and cut up.
Chastain said, “I’m a tough guy. No one ever sees me cry.” “And it broke my heart,” Chastain said he couldn’t think of anything his nephews could have done to deserve this kind of treatment.
Billy had four children, but Mark only had two. Chastain thought they worked hard and were good fathers who cared a lot about their kids. “I don’t know what happened. “But I do know that justice needs to be done,” Chastain said.
He says that the families were already having trouble with money before the deaths, so they started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for the funerals.