Police arrested a man — called a “person of interest” in the slayings of four Oklahoma bicyclists — more than 1,100 miles away in central Florida, authorities said Tuesday.
Investigators in Okmulgee told reporters a day earlier that they wanted to question Joseph Kennedy about the slayings of Mark Chastain, 32, Billy Chastain, 30, Mike Sparks, 32, and Alex Stevens, 29.
The four were reported missing last week before their shot and dismembered bodies were found in the Deep Fork River, Okmulgee police said.
Just after naming Kennedy as a “person of interest” on Monday afternoon, police said the man’s blue Chrysler PT Cruiser was found “abandoned behind a business” in Morris.
Kennedy was arrested in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, in a car “that was reported stolen to the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office” on Monday, according to an Okmulgee police statement.
Kennedy, 67, is being held without bail. He was booked into custody at 10:21 a.m. Tuesday on a single charge of grand theft of a motor vehicle, according to Volusia County Department of Corrections records.
Kennedy was also booked in connection to a 2012 shooting in Okmulgee, police in Oklahoma said. The statement did not name Kennedy as a suspect in the deaths of the four bicyclists.
It was not immediately clear on Tuesday afternoon if Kennedy had hired or been assigned an attorney.
Kennedy got on the radar of investigators after they searched his scrap yard and found evidence of a “violent event” on an “adjoining property,” Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said.
Kennedy was initially interviewed by Okmulgee police on Friday, according to Prentice, before he apparently left the state.
The four men were reported missing early last week after they left on their bicycles.
Prentice later revealed the men had been planning pull off an undisclosed crime before their mutilated bodies were found.
Investigators base the belief on the word of a witness who had been invited to go along as the men planned to “hit a lick big enough for all of them,” Prentice said, using slang for a profitable criminal act.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.