According to the Okmulgee Police Department, human remains have been found in a river by Sharp Road on Friday. While nothing has been confirmed, the police have reason to believe the remains could have something to do with the four men that were reported missing last Sunday.
On October 9th, four close friends – Mark Chastain, 32; Billy Chastain, 30; Mike Sparks, 32; and Alex Stevens, 29 – went for a bike ride around 8:00 PM. When none of them returned home that night, family members began to worry and by the following night, they were reported missing.
At the time, Okmulgee police didn’t see any sign of foul play, but their stance has since changed with the discovery of the human remains. Officers have received tips and potential sightings over the past week, but haven’t confirmed any of them and are now focused on new evidence.
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Around 2:00 PM on Friday, the police received a call about ‘suspicious items in the river.’ Once they arrived at the river, police were able to identify the items as human remains – “There is definitely what appears to be body parts protruding from the water,” said Okmulgee police chief.
In the press briefing, police chief Joe Prentice explained that there are ‘multiple’ remains, but they’re unsure how many different remains and have absolutely no idea what’s under the water – yet. He added they’re working alongside several agencies to help turn questions into answers.
After the remains were found, families of the four missing men were notified – though it was made clear that the remains haven’t been identified. The remains stayed in the river until police officers had an opportunity to canvas the area – no bicycles were found in the surrounding area.
“We’re not giving up. If these are your loved ones, all we’re doing is switching focus. We’re gonna work just as hard to find out what happened to them as we did to try to find them,” said the police chief. They urge anyone with information that might help to reach out to them ASAP.
Okmulgee Police Have Yet to Confirm Who the Remains Belong To
Throughout the press briefing, one thing was made abundantly clear – while there’s reason to believe the remains are linked to the four missing men, they have no evidence to confirm it as fact and are still working through the process of determining who the remains belong to.
“If it turns out that these four missing men are the remains in the river, then the focus of our investigation will shift from finding them to what happened to them. If it is determined that it is not them, then we will have a separate investigation,” said Joe Prentice in the press briefing.
One witness claims to have seen one of the men at a smoke shop on Sunday afternoon, while another witness claims to have seen the two brothers near a local YMCA the following morning. Police were also able to track one of the men’s phone, but it didn’t lead them to anything.
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“Currently, we have more questions than answers,” said Okmulgee police chief Joe Prentice. The search for the men will continue, but they’ll first have to determine who the remains came from, who put them there, and why they were put there – we should be learning more soon!
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