Person of interest in quadruple Oklahoma murder arrested in Florida

Author: Gina Martinez / CBS
On Tuesday, salvage yard owner Joe Kennedy was arrested in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida in a stolen vehicle. OKMULGEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Police have tracked down the person of interest in the “violent” quadruple murder that left four men dismembered in an Oklahoma river.

On Tuesday, salvage yard owner Joe Kennedy was arrested in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, in a vehicle that was reported stolen to the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, Police Chief Joe Prentice announced on Tuesday.

On Monday, Prentice confirmed the bodies of four men pulled from the Deep Fork River, southeast of the city of Okmulgee, belonged to Mark Chastain, 32; Billy Chastain, 30; Alex Stephens, 29; and Mike Sparks, 32, who were reported missing overnight last Monday.

Investigators did not discover any evidence during a search of a salvage yard, but said they found evidence of a “violent event” on an adjoining property, Prentice said.

No charges were initially filed against Kennedy but investigators were looking to speak to him again before he was reported missing on Saturday, Prentice said. On Monday, police found Kennedy’s blue PT Cruiser abandoned behind a business in Morris, Oklahoma, Prentice said in an update on Facebook.

A warrant was issued for his arrest in relation to a 2012 shooting with a bond for $500,000, Prentice said.

Police have not yet named any suspects in connection to the quadruple murder.

“The murder investigation is ongoing and investigators continue to follow leads every day. Additional information will be relayed when it is available,” Prentice said.

The men, close friends, were believed to have left Billy Chastain’s home in Okmulgee on Sunday night, reportedly on bicycles, according to police.

Investigators believe that the men planned to commit some kind of criminal activity when they left the residence, according to a witness who told police they were invited to go with the men to “hit a lick big enough for all of them,” Prentice said.

But police said they do not know what the men planned to do, or where.

The cause of death for the men is still pending, but police confirmed all four had gunshot wounds and their bodies were dismembered before they were dumped into the river.

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