The four Oklahoma men whose dismembered bodies were found in a river were severed in half, a mother of one the victims said.
“My son and his friends were first shot multiple times, chopped in half at their waist and then thrown into the Deep Fork River to rot away,” Teresa Stevens, mother of Alex Stevens, told the Daily Mail.
Alex Stevens, 29, left for a bike ride with Mark Chastain, 32, his brother Billy Chastain, 30 and Mike Sparks, 32 on Oct. 9. The four were then reported missing when they didn’t return home that evening.
Only two of the men left with cell phones, and both went straight to voicemail following their departure. Their bodies were found on the surface of Deep Fork River five days later.
Okmulgee police told the grieving mother that the killer or killers had “chopped off one of their arms,” Stevens said.
“It’s something you read about on the news, about what they did to my son and his friends,” said Stevens. “To chop a body in half is what the drug cartels do to the dead. Whoever did this clearly wanted to send a message.”
The gruesome details of the murder lead Stevens to believe that there was more than one murderer, or least an accomplice to help with the disturbing killings.
“For one person to kill four grown men, chop their bodies up, and dump them in a river…I just can’t see one person doing all of that,” she said. “Whoever did this had to have help.”
Police named convicted felon Joe Kennedy a person of interest after officers found evidence of a “violent event” that occurred at a scrapyard he owned in the Okmulgee area. One of the victims’ phones last pinged in the salvage yard before going dead, police said.
Stevens said she doesn’t know Kennedy personally, and doesn’t believe her son did either, but isn’t surprised he is potentially involved in the case.
“I’ve heard about him around town and from what I’ve heard he’s a person of questionable character,” Stevens said.
Stevens was the one to report her son missing Oct. 9 when he didn’t show up to his shift at 11 p.m. that night at a healthcare facility they both work at. The two typically carpool together since Alex doesn’t own a car and it’s out of character for her son to miss work, she said.
She couldn’t reach him on his cell phone either because he had “run out of minutes,” which is why he didn’t bring it on the bike trip.
Police believe the men had left to commit a crime, though aren’t sure what the foursome had planned.
“Even if they were up there at the salvage yard up to no good or drugs were involved, no one deserved to die,” Stevens said.