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Extra questions than solutions encompass deaths of 4 discovered useless in an Oklahoma river


Determined pleas surfaced on-line shortly after 4 pals disappeared final week – one man requested if anybody had seen his cousin. A spouse is searching for her husband. A mom is searching for the daddy of their 4 youngsters.

Days later, their household obtained dangerous information. The stays of their family members have been present in a shallow stretch of river on the sting of Okmulgee, Oklahoma, inhabitants about 11,300.

Now, the victims’ households and their communities are grappling with a grim thriller: What occurred within the hours earlier than Alex Stevens, Mike Sparks and brothers Billy and Mark Chastain disappeared – and Who’s chargeable for their ugly deaths?

Daybreak Carter, Okmulgee metropolis council member, stated: “It does not make any sense. “When you’re a part of a close-knit neighborhood, when the little issues occur, it attracts consideration. One thing specialised on this? It impacts everybody. “

“Inform folks to wish for us,” she added.

Who’re they?

The 4 males grew up collectively in Okmulgee, a metropolis that Megan Gordon, Billy Chastain’s widow, describes as a “very small city” – a spot the place “everybody’s dad and mom know everybody’s dad and mom. “

“All people is aware of everybody right here.”

Mark Chastain, 32, and Billy Chastain, 30, are “the definition of brotherhood and at all times being collectively,” their grandmother, Milissia Smith, stated throughout a verified on-line fundraiser. Billy Chastain – who went after BJ – is a handyman with 4 youngsters, two ladies and two boys aged 2 to 12, Gordon stated.

“He is humorous, he is loving, he is spontaneous,” she stated. “He’s good.”

“All the pieces revolved round his youngsters,” she added.

Buddy Ron Pelham stated Mark Chastain had two youngsters and labored in an oil area as a rig operator. Chastain “did his greatest for the whole lot he had” however would provide to take off his shirt to point out his again, stated 34-year-old Pelham.

“He did good to make life higher for his household in each doable means,” Pelham stated.

Alex Stevens.  (Courtesy Teresa Hall)

Alex Stevens. (Courtesy Teresa Corridor)

Alex Stevens was a nursing dwelling cook dinner’s assistant, his widow, Teresa Corridor stated. He struggled with drug habit, and the 2 met after he was launched from jail in 2013, she stated.

They married in 2014 and separated quickly after, stated 35-year-old Corridor, though they have been by no means legally divorced and stay shut pals. Stevens has had bouts of melancholy, however “there was by no means a day when he could not put a smile in your face,” she says.

Makes an attempt to succeed in kinfolk of Mike Sparks, 32, have been unsuccessful.

What occurred?

The 4 pals began biking on October 9, the Okmulgee Police Division stated final week. Going round on two wheels is not uncommon in Okmulgee, says Pelham, particularly if it is the weekend and there is a ingesting binge.

The group is believed to have left the home the place Billy Chastain lived part-time round 5:30 p.m., Okmulgee Sheriff Joe Prentice stated in an interview this week. Investigators obtained GPS knowledge from cell telephones carried by the 2 males, exhibiting them heading east, then south. No video was discovered of their actions after they left, Prentice stated.

“I do not know what they assume after they go away the home,” Prentice stated. “I am like everybody else at the hours of darkness.”

Sooner or later, two of the boys invited somebody described by authorities as a witness to “hit a lick sufficiently big for all of them,” Prentice stated, utilizing a slang to commit a useful legal act.

Within the interview, Prentice stated the witness “did not really feel proper about it and his bike wasn’t working, so he advised them to maintain going.”

The sheriff doesn’t know which of the boys is believed to have made the provide and he declined to determine witnesses. Prentice stated investigators had no additional particulars in regards to the alleged conspiracy, nor did they collect proof to corroborate witness statements.

“I am unable to consider a cause he’d need to make it up,” added Prentice.

A evaluate of courtroom data towards the 4 males confirmed that Alex Stevens dedicated drug felony felonies in 2013 and 2015, and Billy Chastain pleaded responsible to drug felony counts in 2014. Nobody has been charged with the crime. violence, theft or theft, data present.

Billy Chastain with his three children.  (Megan Gordon)

Billy Chastain along with his three youngsters. (Megan Gordon)

Gordon stated the final time she spoke to Billy Chastain was the day earlier than he disappeared. She does not know what he did the evening he disappeared however stated “tit for tat” was not what her husband would say.

“The daddy of my youngsters does not say that,” she stated. “It is mindless.”

Pelham forged doubt on Mark Chastain’s involvement in a legal scheme, saying that he makes good cash from his work and “rattling it definitely has by no means been a thief.”

Corridor additionally did not imagine Stevens would rob anybody.

“Alex is just not that sort of individual,” she stated. “If he has no cash, he’ll go to work to earn cash.”

The final time Corridor spoke to Stevens was three days earlier than he disappeared. They video chatted about her situation after she was just lately launched from a drug therapy program, she stated.

“I by no means knew that was the final time I noticed him,” she stated.

‘We all know no matter occurs to them, it will not be good’

Gordon realized that her husband was lacking when Mark Chastain’s spouse referred to as early on October 10 and requested if the brothers have been at her home.

Initially, Gordon believed they have been at Mark Chastain’s home. Because the hours handed, she realized that they have been operating late or had a flat tire. However, 1 p.m. handed, then 5 p.m., she stated. In order that they alerted the police and reported that they have been lacking, she stated.

“I hoped and praying that they might discover them protected,” Corridor stated.

The Okmulgee Police Division first reported the lacking individual on October 11. Initially, the company stated there was no proof of violence or foul play and that Mark Chastain’s telephone was discovered within the absence electrical energy in an space south of city.

Hours handed, kinfolk posted their pleas on Fb, and witnesses stated they noticed the lacking males close to the native YMCA and as distant as Monroe, Louisiana, authorities stated.

Pelham, who lives about an hour northwest of Okmulgee, stated he accompanied his brother to the town to knock door-to-door and assist with the search.

“For the 4 lacking grownup males, it blew our minds,” he stated. “Their boys aren’t small. They’ll deal with it on their very own. We all know no matter occurs to them, it isn’t going to be good.”

5 days after the boys have been final seen, Prentice advised reporters {that a} passer-by knowledgeable authorities of one thing suspicious in a shallow stretch of the Deep Fork River, to the southwest. Okmulgee. Close to a bridge, authorities discovered “many” human stays and “physique elements protruding of the water.”

By Monday, the stays had been recognized as these of the Chastain brothers, Sparks and Stevens. Prentice stated they have been shot earlier than their dismembered our bodies have been dumped within the river.

None of their bikes have been discovered, he stated.

An arrest

Additionally Monday, Prentice named one individual of curiosity within the case: Joseph Kennedy, proprietor of an area scrap yard, the place investigators found proof of a “violent occasion” on an adjoining property close by, the sheriff stated. He declined to supply additional particulars on what proof was recovered.

Mr. Kennedy has been lacking since Saturday, Prentice stated, and he’s believed to have been driving a blue Chrysler PT Cruiser.

At 8:29 a.m. Tuesday, greater than 1,200 miles away in Daytona Seaside Shores, Florida, a police officer’s license plate reader recognized a passing Toyota Tundra as stolen, police stated. metropolis ​​police stated. Kennedy, 67, was the driving force of the pickup truck.

Officers pulled him over and recognized him as a quadruple murder. He was arrested with out incident on suspicion of main theft of a motorcar and was a fugitive from justice, the division stated.

Kennedy has not been recognized as a suspect within the Okmulgee homicide. Authorities stated the defection allegation was linked to 2 unrelated expenses from 2012, additionally in Okmulgee – felony assault and taking pictures with a harmful weapon and obstruction of a police officer.

Court docket data present that in 2013, Kennedy didn’t contest expenses associated to a taking pictures at considered one of his companies, his lawyer in that case stated earlier this week.

The lawyer, Luke Gaither, stated “a number of folks” broke into the property and Kennedy opened hearth in self-defense at somebody he believed had a gun.

“The state clearly has one other aspect to that,” Gaither stated.

To keep away from jail time, Kennedy needed to stay on probation till subsequent 12 months. However in courtroom papers filed Tuesday, Oklahoma prosecutors argued that he violated these phrases and needs to be convicted of the 2012 crime.

Gaither stated Friday that he’s not representing Kennedy within the probation violation cost and it’s unclear if he has an lawyer to talk for him. A girl who answered the telephone on the quantity listed in public data as Kennedy’s declined to remark.

A public defender assigned to the Kennedy case in Florida didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. An affidavit filed for the grand theft cost says Kennedy advised the arresting officer that the truck’s proprietor advised him he may borrow the car at any time when he wished.

Kennedy advised officers he took the truck final week and drove to Florida for the weekend, the doc stated. The doc says he allegedly advised the officer he was committing suicide.

Correction data in Volusia County present Kennedy was nonetheless in custody Friday and in non-binding custody on defection expenses.

Within the interview, Prentice declined to say whether or not investigators from Oklahoma had interviewed Kennedy since his arrest and Prentice didn’t know when he may be extradited.

Prentice declined to supply extra details about Kennedy’s connection to the murders, citing the continuing homicide investigation.

For Gordon, realizing the reality about what occurred to her husband and three different males could not come anytime quickly.

“I actually assume they’re coming dwelling,” she stated. To know that they have been “reduce throats – it is horrible to know my youngsters won’t ever see their dad once more.”

“I really feel like I am bursting,” Gordon stated by means of tears. “I really feel like I’ve damaged down.”

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