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Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice announced at a press conference Monday afternoon that the shot and dismembered bodies discovered over the weekend are those of four missing men.
Family members of Mark and Billy Chastain, Mike Sparks and Alex Stevens reported them missing last week after they left their home on bicycles. The Okmulgee men were allegedly engaged in some form of criminal activity, according to investigators.
On Friday night, news broke about the discovery of four bodies in the Deep Fork River. The bodies were discovered near a bridge in the area. It took investigators until Monday morning to identify the bodies, because of the condition they were in.
At the press conference, Chief Prentice gave reporters additional details about the gruesome murder.
Okmulgee Police Chief calls the crime “a very violent event.”
“I’ve worked over eighty murders in my career,” Chief Prentice said. “I have worked murders involving multiple victims. I’ve worked dismemberments… [this case] is a very violent event.”
“I can’t say I’ve never worked anything like it,” he continued, “but it’s right up there at the top.”
“It would take a considerable amount of time to put the bodies in the condition that they were and then put them in the river,” Prentice said, indicating the brutal nature of the crime.
All four bodies were found near a salvage yard outside Okmulgee where one of the victim’s cell phones pinged last. Chief Prentice says Joe Kennedy is a “person of interest” in the event. Kennedy is the owner of a piece of property where police say “a violent event took place.”
Family members of the men had “resolved themselves” that the men were likely dead. However, they were reportedly “distraught” when they learned about the dismemberment.
Chief Prentice says he and his Okmulgee officers have “a lot of work” ahead of them to solve this murder.