A man considered a person of interest in the killing and dismembering of four men in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, has been arrested in Florida after going missing.
Joe Kennedy, 67, the owner of two scrapyards that the four victims had visited, was arrested Tuesday in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, in a vehicle that had been reported stolen. Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice told BuzzFeed News in a statement that a warrant was issued for his arrest in relation to a 2012 shooting case. No charges have yet been filed in the recent deaths.
Volusia County jail records show he was in custody on Tuesday without bond on suspicion of grand theft and two counts of being a fugitive from justice.
“The District Attorney and the Sheriff will begin the process of getting Kennedy back to Okmulgee County,” Prentice said. “The murder investigation is ongoing and investigators continue to follow leads every day.”
The bodies of Mark Chastain, Billy Chastain, Mike Sparks, and Alex Stevens were found dumped in a river on Saturday. The Chastain brothers, Sparks, and Stevens had last been seen riding bikes on Oct. 9, prompting a weeklong search in a case that Prentice previously described as “unusual.” The river was outside the search party’s scope, and the men’s bikes were nowhere nearby. Location-tracking data showed they had visited two different salvage yards before Mark Chastain’s phone turned off, police said.
Kennedy spoke to police on Friday, and Prentice said he initially seemed cooperative. But after he was identified as a person of interest on Monday, he disappeared. His car was found abandoned behind a business in Morris, Oklahoma, but it was unclear how it got there.
“I don't have any evidence that Mr. Kennedy is a threat to anyone else, but I would use caution,” Prentice said Monday. “If anyone sees Mr. Kennedy, please call the local authorities.”
The Daytona Beach Shores Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.