Multiple human remains found while searching 4 missing cyclists by Oklahoma police
Authorities in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, uncovered “multiple objects in the water that appear to be human remains” in the Deep Fork River Friday during a days-long search for four missing bicycles.
Okmulgee residents Mark Chastain, 32, Billy Chastain, 30, Mike Sparks, 32, and Alex Stevens, 29, went missing Monday evening. Jessica, Mark Chastain’s wife, and Alex Stevens’ mother reported their disappearances.
In a news briefing, the city’s police head reported finding remains but no bicycles. He stated the remains were still underwater.
“At this time, we cannot make an identification, but out of respect we let the families know before it was officially announced,” Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said at a Friday Facebook press briefing. “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.” he said.
Okmulgee police say the four “close friends” rode bikes from Billy Chastain’s west side residence on Sunday evening. Police said two men’s cell phones went straight to voicemail.
After 5 p.m., Mark Chastain called. Prentice stated Sunday. Other sightings were unconfirmed.
Jessica Chastain told Thursday that her husband and his friends often biked and that he would not have disappeared. On Monday morning, he was scheduled to supervise their two children.
Prentice said Friday that a passerby observed something “suspicious” in the water and phoned police, who secured the site.
“I need to be clear, we don’t know that this is our missing men yet,” he said.
On Wednesday, investigators obtained video and GPS data and followed up on probable sightings, including one witness who saw all four guys strolling down the street around 2 a.m. Tuesday.
One witness saw Stevens alone on Sunday around 4 p.m. outside the Okmulgee Indian Community Smoke Shop on the south side of town. Another witness saw Mark and Billy Chastain at a YMCA on Monday.