Welp, this is gruesome and baffling and horrifying all at once.
[F]our men – Mark Chastain, 32; Billy Chastain, 30; Mike Sparks, 32; and Alex Stevens, 29 – were reported missing after leaving Billy Chastain's home on bicycles around 9 p.m. on October 9, according to Police Chief Joe Prentice.
Their bodies, which had been shot and dismembered, were found days later in a river outside Okmulgee, a city of about 11,000 people roughly a 35-mile drive south of Tulsa.
"Although the official cause and manner of death is still pending, each victim suffered gunshot wounds," Prentice said. "All four bodies were dismembered before being placed in the river, and that is what caused difficulty in determining identities."
The remains were recovered over several days, and it's not clear what kind of evidence investigators will be able to recover.
"Whenever water is involved, it makes it much more difficult to identify evidence," the chief said.
Police have not recovered any bicycles, nor the gun used in the killings.
Cops right now trying to figure this one out:
An arrest was made Tuesday that might provide some clues:
Joe Kennedy, 67, was arrested in Daytona Beach Shores in a vehicle that was reported stolen on Monday, Okmulgee Police said. He is being held on a charge of grand theft of a motor vehicle with no bond, according to the Volusia County inmate record.
"The District Attorney and the Sheriff will begin the process of getting Kennedy back to Okmulgee County," police said in a statement. "The murder investigation is ongoing and investigators continue to follow leads every day."
Police have not detailed why Kennedy is a person of interest and they have not named him a suspect in the murders.
He is also being held on a warrant issued for his arrest in Okmulgee County District Court in relation to a shooting in 2012. He is set to appear before a Volusia County judge on Wednesday afternoon, according to the clerk of courts.
Why Kennedy is involved with the case remains a mystery.
See, the four men set out on the bicycles with the goal of committing a crime, as adult criminal masterminds are known to do. A witness said they said they were going to "hit a lick big enough for all of them," meaning they were going to get a score of some kind – whether money or something else.
"That is common terminology for engaging in some type of criminal behavior, but we do not know what they were planning or where they planned to do it," Prentice added. After the men were reported missing, police said they believed at least two of the men had cell phones with them. Investigators traced the phones' path, finding the devices went to two salvage yards – one about 5 miles from the river, and the other about 10 to 12 miles from the river, Prentice told CNN on Saturday. Police later found "evidence of a violent event" on property adjoining one of those locations, the chief said without elaborating.
A crime with this much evidence, this many bodies, and one that occurred in so small a time frame will doubtlessly be easier to crack than others.
"I've worked over 80 murders in my career. I have worked murders involving multiple victims. I have worked dismemberments, but this case involves the highest number of victims, and it's a very violent event," Prentice said.