The Murders of Alex Stevens, Billy Chastain, Mark Chastain, and Michael Sparks

Billy Chastain
Alex Stevens
Mark Chastain
Mike Sparks

On October 14, 2022, the dismembered bodies of Alex Stevens, Billy Chastain, Mark Chastain, and Michael Sparks were found in the Deep Fork River, just outside of Okmulgee, Oklahoma. A local Okmulgee resident, Joseph Kennedy, was apprehended while driving a stolen vehicle in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida on October 17, 2022, and extradited back to Oklahoma. Kennedy has been charged with their murders.

The Discovery

On Sunday, October 9, 2022, Alex Stevens, 29, Billy Chastain, 30, Mark Chastain, 32, and Michael Sparks, 32, left a home at 1105 West Sixth Street, Okmulgee, Oklahoma. All four men left that evening on bicycles and traveled as far as the area of the local scrap yard on 1205 West Twentieth Street in Okmulgee. When they did not return, family members filed a missing person’s report.

Mark Chastain and his wife Jessica regularly used a GPS location app called Life 360. Jessica Chastain provided investigators with the most current information regarding her husband, Mark. According to the app’s log, Mark’s cell phone traveled from the West Sixth Street address to the West Twentieth Street address and was logged spending time with the scrap yard itself, which was owned by Joseph Kennedy. After a few hours, Mark’s cell phone (via Life 360) showed that it was at the Murphy’s USA Gas Station for a brief time before stopping near a bridge.

Using the information provided by the cell phone app, On October 14, 2022, authorities discovered several portions of dismembered remains near a bridge near to the scrap yard. Recovery took several days before being completed.

The Investigation

Investigators were able to obtain the video surveillance video from the gas station during the timeframe that corresponded to the GPS app. Footage did not capture Mark Chastain, but did  captured Joseph Kennedy in his PT Cruiser at one of their fuel pumps at the same time Chastain’s phone was there.. After leaving Murphy’s USA Gas Station, Chastain’s cell phone traveled to another salvage yard owned by Joseph Kennedy, on South 75 near Schulter, OK. The South 75 location is the last GPS location that Chastain’s phone transmitted from.

Investigators on bridge Source: NY Times

On October 14, 2022, on a bridge which crossed Deep Fork River, the remains of four bodies were discovered. Investigators sent the remains to the chief medical examiner in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for identification and autopsy. The medical examiner positively identified the victims the victims as Alex Stevens, Billy Chastain, Mark Chastain, and Michael Sparks. The chief medical examiner determined each victim had gunshot wounds and had been dismembered at the waist. Michael Sparks also had both of his arms removed.

While emergency services and law enforcement performed the recovery from the Deep Fork River location, other law enforcement teams executed search warrants at the scrap yard on West Twentieth Street and the adjacent properties surrounding the scrap yard. The river location and the scrap yard location are within a few miles of each other. Investigators located evidence including blood, a broken set of dentures and other personal effects believed to belong to the victims, but primarily to Mark Chastain. In one of the surrounding trees, investigators discovered a recent bullet hole and were able to recover a spent 7.62 caliber bullet. The following day, they returned to search the area and found additional 7.62 caliber shell casings scattered across the property.

Investigators questioned Joseph Kennedy regarding the incident. Kennedy stated he had been experiencing a string of thefts of his scrap yard and had patrolled his property in the off business hours to see if he could catch anyone on his property. He told investigators he had been patrolling the evening that the four men had gone missing, but stated that he had not seen them. Kennedy also stated that he did not know the victims and knew nothing further regarding their disappearance. Investigators noted that Chastian’s cell phone location was identified as being on the property at the same time as Kennedy’s proclaimed patrolling time.

Joseph Kennedy

Investigators were able to obtain surveillance footage from The Great Plains Coca-Cola facility located across the street from the West Twentieth Street scrap yard. Video footage shows Kennedy’s PT Cruiser parked on The Great Plains Coca-Cola property for a few hours before being retrieved by Kennedy. Throughout the night, surveillance footage captures Kennedy making several trips to and from the area. In addition, a deputy sheriff, who lived in the area of the scrap yard, reported that he heard 10-12 gunshots fired at around 6:20 p.m. on October 9, 2022.

On October 17, 2022, a local woman who was reported to have a romantic relationship with Kennedy provided information to investigators. During questioning, she stated Kennedy had confessed to her he had shot and killed the four men because he believed they were stealing from him. After shooting the men, Kennedy told her he “cut them up” before disposing of their remains in the Deep Fork River.

Joseph Kennedy Is Apprehended

On the night of October 14, 2022, after the remains were discovered, Kennedy borrowed a Toyota Tundra belonging to a friend, Harold Arnold. Kennedy left the area in the Toyota Tundra. Video surveillance captured him at a gas station in Gore, Oklahoma.

When Kennedy did not return the Tundra, Arnold reported the pickup stolen. Investigators sent out a BOLO (be on the lookout) notice nationwide. On October 18, 2022, Florida police noticed the black Tundra and initiated a traffic stop in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida. When they confirmed the vehicle’s identity, police arrested Kennedy for possession of a stolen vehicle.

A forensics search was performed on the Toyota Tundra and blood was found inside of the cab on the driver’s side and on personal property inside the vehicle, which was identified as belonging to Joseph Kennedy. Preliminary results initially determined that one of the DNA samples belonged to Billy Chastain, but other DNA collected showed that additional DNA evidence matched the remaining three victims.

Joseph Kennedy’s Arraignment

During his initial arraignment, a judge ordered Kennedy was held on $500,000 bail, pending extradition back to Oklahoma. He waved his right to fight extradition and Florida State returned him to Oklahoma. Prosecution has charged Kennedy with four counts of first degree, premeditated murder in the deaths of Alex Stevens, Billy Chastain, Mark Chastain, and Michael Sparks. Kennedy is presently being held without bond in Okmulgee and is awaiting further legal proceedings. The judge has not set a trial date.

Investigators have stated that this remains an active and open investigation, with the possibility of discovering additional evidence in this case.

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