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‘Person of Interest’ in Oklahoma Cyclists’ Deaths Arrested in Florida

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police arrested a “stakeholder” in the murder of four Oklahoma cyclists in central Florida — more than 1,200 miles away, authorities said Tuesday.

Joseph Kennedy, 67, was arrested in Daytona Beach Shores in a car “reported as stolen to the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office Monday.” according to a statement from the police in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

Mark Chastain, 32, Billy Chastain, 30, Mike Sparks, 32, and Alex Stevens, 29, were reported missing last week and were shot and dismembered days later found in the Deep Fork River, Okmulgee Police said:.

Just after Kennedy was named as a “person of interest” Monday afternoon, police said the man’s blue Chrysler PT Cruiser was found “abandoned behind a business” in Morris.

Kennedy was driving near the 2800 block of South Atlantic Avenue at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday when a police license plate reader discovered Kennedy’s vehicle, labeled the car stolen and the driver “missing,” said Michael Fowler, Daytona’s director of public safety. Beach Shores. .

Kennedy was arrested without incident and, according to Fowler, did not make any statement to the officers.

“When we (with Oklahoma police) confirmed his missing person status, we were notified that he is a stakeholder in a quadruple homicide,” Fowler said.

Kennedy, who has a registered address in Okmulgee, is being held without bail. He was taken into custody at 10:21 a.m. Tuesday at the Volusia County Branch Jail on a single charge of grand theft of a motor vehicle, according to Department of Corrections records.

Kennedy was also booked in connection with a 2012 shooting in Okmulgee, Oklahoma police said. Kennedy is not named in the statement as a suspect in the deaths of the four cyclists.

It was not immediately clear on Tuesday afternoon whether Kennedy had hired or assigned an attorney.

Kennedy came on investigators’ radar after they searched his junkyard and found evidence of a “violent event” on an “adjacent property,” Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said.

Kennedy was initially questioned Friday by Okmulgee police, according to Prentice, before apparently leaving the state.

The four men were reported missing early last week after they left by bicycle.

Prentice later said the men planned to commit an undisclosed crime.

Investigators base the belief on the word of a witness who was invited to accompany them as the men planned to “give a lick big enough for them all,” Prentice said, using slang for a profitable criminal act.

Polly DeFrank contributed.

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