VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A person of interest in the case of four missing Oklahoma men whose dismembered bodies were found in a river appeared in a Florida court on Wednesday.
Joseph Kennedy, 67, was arrested in Daytona Beach Shores after police alleged he was driving a car reported stolen out of Oklahoma.
Police later learned Kennedy was wanted for questioning in connection to the missing men’s murders.
32-year-old Mark Chastain, 30-year-old Billy Chastain, 32-year-old Mike Sparks, and 29-year-old Alex Stevens were reported missing after disappearing on Oct. 9. They were last seen riding bikes together.
Their dismembered bodies were found on Oct. 14 in the Deep Fork River in Okmulgee.
No cause of death has been determined for the victims, but Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said they all had gunshot wounds.
Kennedy has not been charged with any crimes – aside from grand theft for allegedly driving a stolen car – but he was reportedly speaking with Oklahoma law enforcement after they discovered signs of “a violent event” near his scrapyard.
Kennedy disappeared until he was arrested in central Florida on Tuesday. Police said he does not appear to have ties to the area and they don’t know why he travelled there.
Kennedy also had an outstanding warrant related to a 2012 shooting in Oklahoma with bond set at $500,000, but a Volusia County judge decided he should be held with no bond.
“Given the total picture which has come to my attention, think at this point in time for public safety and for Mr. Kennedy’s situation, I think no bond is appropriate,” Volusia County Circuit Court Judge Bryan Feigenbaum said.
Kennedy will have a public defender representing him while he is in Florida, but Judge Feigenbaum said he will soon have to decide whether to fight extradition to Oklahoma.