Remains Found In Oklahoma Identified As 4 Missing Men And Police Say They Were Shot And Dismembered

It was confirmed by authorities on Monday that four male cyclists who vanished last weekend were shot, dismembered, and their remains disposed of in a river.
credit: Jack Sullivan / Alamy
Last week, Mark Chastain, 32; Billy Chastain, 30; Mike Sparks, 32; and Alex Stevens, 29, were reported missing to the Okmulgee Police Department, The Guardian reports.

The four Oklahoma men, who were described by officials as "close friends", were last seen leaving Billy Chastain's house on bikes "pulling trailers" around 8:00 PM on October 9, Police Chief Joe Prentice said.

Four men have been reported missing to the Okmulgee Police Department overnight. Mark Chastain 32 of Okmulgee, Billy...

Posted by Okmulgee Police Department on Tuesday, October 11, 2022

At a press conference on Monday, Prentice said information given to police by a witness who was invited to join the group, seemed to indicate that the now-deceased men had been planning to commit "some type of criminal act" when they left the house.

The witness told law enforcement that the men were planning “to ‘hit a lick’ big enough for all of them,” the police chief said. Prentice said it has not been confirmed what the men were planning to do.

However, as they searched the men's whereabouts, police were able to trace their movements to a salvage yard and then a local gas station using data from an app on Mark Chastain's wife's cellphone.

Update from Chief Prentice on Bodies Found in River: The recovery process has been completed from the river on Sharp...

Posted by Okmulgee Police Department on Friday, October 14, 2022

When they left the station, the group visited a second scrapyard south of Okmulgee, where Chastain's phone switched off. It was on a property next to the second yard where investigators think a “violent event” occurred, leading to the deaths of the men.

The owner of the two salvage yards, Joe Kennedy, has been identified as a person of interest in their deaths.

Police spoke with Kennedy on Friday afternoon, when the victims' remains were found in a nearby river but had not been officially identified.

Earlier on Friday afternoon, a passerby contacted authorities over suspicious objects they had seen which were partly submerged in the water in an area of the Deep Fork River.

The items were ultimately identified as human remains, and on Sunday night, it was confirmed that they belonged to the four friends.

“Although the official cause and manner of death is still pending, each victim suffered gunshot wounds, [and] all four bodies were dismembered before being placed in the river,” Prentice said. “That is what caused difficulty in determining identity, and that's why it took so long.”

Prentice said at the time that Kennedy “appeared to be cooperative” and “was not antagonistic.” Since then, he has been reported missing.

“I don't have any evidence that Mr. Kennedy is a threat to anyone else, but I would use caution,” Prentice said. “If anyone sees Mr. Kennedy, please call the local authorities.”

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