Editor’s Note: The headline has been updated to attribute the court documents which reflect the accusations made against the suspect.

PONTOTOC COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – “He’s just a good old country boy,” said Stacey Kelley, the victim’s ex-wife and friend. “He is a person that would genuinely love you to death.”

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Jimmy Knighten, image provided by Stacey Kelley

A father and grandfather is now gone after a weekend noodling trip in Pontotoc County. That’s when agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations said Larry Sanders and Jimmy Knighten headed to the South Canadian River to catch catfish with their hands. However, the trip would go awry.

“He believed that Mr. Knighten had basically tricked him into being out there,” said Capt. Beth Green, with the OSBI.

According to court records, “Larry claimed Jimmy was trying to feed Larry to bigfoot so Larry had to kill Jimmy,” and that Larry “believed Jimmy was trying to get away from him so that the Sasquatch could eat Larry.” Records said the two “fought on the ground for roughly an hour.”

“He reported striking him and strangling him,” said Green.

After Knighten died, Kelley said Sanders drove back to Knighten’s home, where Knighten and their son live.

“He had come back in Jimmy’s pickup and Jimmy wasn’t with him,” said Kelley. “[My son] was asking where his dad was and [Sanders] said, ‘You’re dad’s not coming back.’”

Kelley said Knighten and Sanders recently reconnected years after high school.

“I think he was trying to keep Larry out of trouble a lot and keep him busy,” said Kelley.

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Larry Sanders

Knighten and Kelley’s son is dating Sanders’ daughter. According to court records, she lives with the father and son.

“I am heartbroken for [Sanders’] family and especially his kids,” said Kelley. “Not only are they tied to Jimmy, but now they have to live with the fact that their dad is the one that did this.”

Court documents show sanders told family what happened and they called police. The 53-year-old was later arrested on an outstanding warrant while the OSBI was called in.

“Mr. Sanders was able to provide interviewing agents with a map that ultimately led to Mr. Knighten’s body,” said Green.

Sanders is now inside the Pontotoc County Detention Center, facing a first-degree murder complaint. So far, it’s unclear if drugs or alcohol played a role.

While OSBI agents investigate, the two two families are left trying to understand what happened.

“Jimmy had the biggest heart of anybody,” said Kelley. “He is still a person, and he has a family, and they have feelings. It’s not just a news story and it’s not a Facebook joke. And he’s not any of these things. He is so much deeper than that.”

The family has set-up a Gofundme account.