Joe Kennedy is a scrap yard owner who was named as the person of interest in the deaths of four men whose bodies were found in an Oklahoma river.
Initially, the victims, close friends, were reported missing. However, their dismembered bodies have now been found in a river. The men were shot, according to Tulsa World.
Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said in a press conference that police believe the victims planned to commit a criminal act. They learned this from a witness who did not go with them.
Police said the victims indicated they were going to “hit a lick big enough for all of them.” That’s terminology for criminal activity, police said, but they don’t know what was planned or where. The victims were riding on bicycles, and those bicycles are still missing.
On October 18, 2022, police announced, “Joe Kennedy is in custody. He was arrested in a stolen vehicle that was reported stolen to the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office on the 17th. He was arrested in Daytona Beach Shores Florida.”
“Additionally, a warrant has been issued for his arrest in Okmulgee County District Court on case number CF-2012-28 for Application to Accelerate a Judgement and Sentence he received in relation to a shooting in 2012. The bond for that warrant is $500,000. The District Attorney and the Sheriff will begin the process of getting Kennedy back to Okmulgee County. The murder investigation is ongoing and investigators continue to follow leads every day. Additional information will be relayed when it is available.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Found ‘Evidence of a Violent Event’ at a Property Near Kennedy’s Scrap Yard
Police said they found “evidence of a violent event” on an adjoining property to Kennedy’s scrap yard. The property in the area contained a scrap yard and a salvage yard. The property around the scrap yard belonged to three different businesses, police said.
Kenned is a person of interest but has not been charged, authorities say. Kennedy was reported missing on Saturday night, October 15, 2022, police said, “and may be suicidal.”
The chief said it would have taken time to “put the bodies in the condition they were and dump them in the river.” Police said they spoke to Kennedy before he disappeared, and he was “not antagonistic.”
2. Kennedy Was Convicted for Shooting at Six Men Who Broke Into His Salvage yard in 2012
Lori Fullbright, a journalist with News On 6, wrote on Facebook that Kennedy has a serious criminal history.
According to Fullbright, records show Kennedy is “currently on a 10-year deferred sentence in Okmulgee County.” She reported that he was convicted in 2013 of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon “for shooting at six men who broke into his salvage yard (happened in 2012).”
She reported that he “hit one of them, who survived. He was also charged in 1998 with attempting to receive stolen property. If you know where he is, you’re asked to call Okmulgee Police.”
3. Police Confirmed That ‘Four Male Bodies’ Were Recovered From the River
Okmulgee police wrote on Facebook that the recovery process “has been completed from the river on Sharp Road. The process went much faster than I anticipated. Four male bodies were recovered from the river.”
They noted: “No identifications have been made at the scene and the Medical Examiner will have to make the official identifications. The bodies are being taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Tulsa for autopsy. No additional information is being released at this time.”
4. Police Located Kennedy’s Blue PT Cruiser
The Okmulgee Police Department confirmed that they had located Kennedy’s vehicle in a statement on their Facebook page, writing, “Joe Kennedy’s blue PT Cruiser has been located and is in police custody. It was abandoned behind a business in Morris Oklahoma. Investigators are looking into how it came to be there. Currently we have no vehicle information for Kennedy.”
5. The Men Left One of the Victim’s Homes on a Sunday Night, Riding Bicycles
The men were initially missing people. Before the bodies were found, police wrote:
Four men have been reported missing to the Okmulgee Police Department overnight.
Mark Chastain 32 of Okmulgee, Billy Chastain 30 of Okmulgee and Mike Sparks 32 of Okmulgee were reported missing by Mark Chastain’s wife. A few hours later, Alex Stevens 29 of Okmulgee was reported missing by his mother. All four are close friends and are believed to have left Billy Chastain’s home on the west side of Okmulgee on Sunday at around 8PM. All were reportedly on bicycles. Two of the men are believed to have cell phones with them, but attempts to call go straight to voicemail.
Investigators have spent the day conducting interviews with potential witnesses. A sighting of Steven was reported at the Smoke Shop on the south side of Okmulgee on Sunday around 4PM. He was reportedly by himself. A sighting of both Chastain men were reported to have occurred on Monday morning by a passerby near the YMCA. Investigators are working to try and confirm the sightings but currently have only witness descriptions.
Mark Chastain’s phone was tracked to an area south of Okmulgee but was turned off or lost power. Officers have checked that area and found no sign of any of the men…
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Okmulgee Police Department. You can reach us by phone, Facebook or by email at email@example.com.
Police said in the news conference that Kennedy denied knowing any of the victims.
Police said they are not releasing a photo of Kennedy unless he is named a suspect. Kennedy has not been arrested or charged.