(Reuters) – A salvage yard owner who authorities consider a “person of interest” in the murder of four men whose dismembered bodies were found in an Oklahoma river has been arrested in Florida on unrelated charges, police said.
Joe Kennedy, 67, was taken into custody in Daytona Beach Shores while driving a car that had been reported stolen in Oklahoma, police in the Oklahoma city of Okmulgee said in a statement.
Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice has described Kennedy as a person of interest in the Oklahoma killings and said evidence of a “violent event” was found on a property adjacent to his salvage yard.
Kennedy has not been charged in the murders of Mark Chastain, 32, Billy Chastain, 30, Mike Sparks, 32, and Alex Stevens, 29, whose cut-up remains were found in the North Fork River last the weekend. All four were determined to have died of gunshot wounds.
Okmulgee is a city of roughly 11,000 people located about 40 miles (64 km) south of Tulsa.
Prentice told a news conference on Monday that investigators wanted to speak to Kennedy.
Kennedy was being held without bail in Daytona Beach Shores and will face extradition proceedings to return to him to Oklahoma, officials said. It was not clear if he had retained a lawyer.
The four men were reported missing on Oct. 9 after leaving Billy Chastain’s home in Okmulgee on bicycles. Investigators began finding the remains in the river on Friday.
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Will Dunham