Four Oklahoma Men Left For A Bicycle Ride, Their Dismembered Bodies Were Found A Week Later
A group of Oklahoma men were reported missing after going on a bicycle ride together on Oct. 9, 2022. Less than a week later, their dismembered bodies were pulled from a river.
On Oct. 17, 2022, the Okmulgee Police Department confirmed that four dismembered bodies recovered from Deep Fork River in Oklahoma were those of a group of men who went missing a week earlier while on a bike ride together. The remains of Mark Chastain, 32, his younger brother Billy Chastain, 30, Mike Sparks, 32, and Alex Stevens, 29, have been identified, reported NBC News.
At a news conference, Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice announced that they are conducting a murder investigation into the deaths of the men, and he revealed that all four had been shot before being dismembered. However, no cause or manner of death has been determined. Prentice said his best guess is that the remains were dumped in the river late on the night of Oct. 9 or during the early morning hours of Oct. 10.
Based on the statement from a witness who had been invited along for the bike ride that night, Prentice believes that the men planned to engage in criminal activity. The witness was told the men were going to "hit a lick big enough for all of them,” which is slang for committing a profitable criminal act. However, Prentice added, “We do not know what they planned or where they planned to do it.”
Prentice went on to explain that the investigation led to a scrapyard over the weekend, and police found “evidence of a violent event” on an adjoining property. A man named Joe Kennedy owns the scrapyard and has been named as a person of interest.
The New York Times reported that a ping from Mark Chastain’s phone at the salvage yard led police there. Kennedy denied knowing the four men, and police have no reason to believe he did know them. Prentice stated that Kennedy has been reported missing and might be suicidal. His abandoned car was found behind a business in Morris, Oklahoma, which is about six miles from Okmulgee.
Investigators haven’t yet identified the gun used in the shootings, and they haven’t found any of the bicycles the men were riding at the time of their disappearance.
“Unfortunately, I have no description of the bicycles. At least one, and we believe all, of the boys had multiple bicycles, and there’s no way to know which ones they were on,” Prentice said.
The FBI is assisting the police in the case, according to KRMG.
The Okmulgee Police Department would like anyone with information about the murders and subsequent disposal of the bodies to contact the department. They would also like to hear from anyone with information on Kennedy's whereabouts.