Police in an Oklahoma city with fewer than 12,000 residents Friday reported finding four unidentified human bodies in Deep Fork River.
Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said in a post to the department’s Facebook page that a passerby informed them of suspicious items in the river near Sharp Road around 2 p.m. Friday
“Four male bodies were recovered from the river,” Prentice said in a statement. “No identifications have been made at the scene and the Medical Examiner will have to make the official identifications.”
The bodies have been sent to the medical examiner’s office in Tulsa for autopsies, the chief added.
Four local friends were reported missing in the area Sunday, but police declined to link the bodies to the missing men. The missing men’s families were notified of the discovery, police said.
“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 press conference. “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.”
Mark Chastain, 32; Billy Chastain, 30; Mike Sparks, 32; and Alex Stevens, 29, left one of their homes in Okmulgee around 8 p.m. Sunday on bicycles, according to police.
The Chastain men and Sparks were reported missing by one of the spouses Monday evening, police said, and Stevens’ mother reported his disappearance to authorities a few hours later.
Video and GPS data were reviewed by Okmulgee Police Department investigators. They have also followed up on potential sightings of the missing men but none of the tips led to the cyclists.
Families and friends of the missing men have begun to doubt any of them will be found alive, according to a Blaze Media report.
“I know nothing, and I’m feeling lost,” Mark Chastain’s wife, Jessica, said. “I’m heartbroken. I’m sad. I have so many mixed emotions and thoughts.”
Billy Chastain’s girlfriend, Megan Gordan, expressed similar doubt.
“It’s getting hopeless,” Gordan said. “I still have hope, but it’s getting hopeless.”
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