OKMULGEE, Okla. (KFOR) – Police in eastern Oklahoma said discovered human remains in their search for four missing men who were last seen cycling last Sunday.
Investigators spent a week searching the area around Okmulgee, Oklahoma for 32-year-old Mark Chastain, 30-year-old Billy Chastain, 32-year-old Mike Sparks and 29-year-old Alex Stevens, who were reported missing by their families on Monday.
The Okmulgee Police Department said the four were close friends. They are believed to have left Billy Chastain’s home on the west side of Okmulgee Sunday night and were all reportedly on bicycles.
The remains were found Friday afternoon in the river southwest of Okmulgee when a bystander told police they noticed something “suspicious” sticking out of the water.
“Officers responded and discovered what appeared to be multiple human remains in the river [but] we don’t know yet that these are our missing people,” Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said.
Although the remains have not been positively identified, Prentice said the families of the missing have been notified of the discovery out of respect.
“If these four missing men turn out to be remains in the river, then the focus of our investigation will shift from finding them to what happened to them. [but] if they’re not, then we’re back to square one,” Prentice continued.
Multiple agencies, including the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Boat Team, were on the river to assist in the recovery process.
Phone records previously suggested the men may have ridden out of town in the opposite direction of the river, so police said they did not consider the area where the river is located.
“We have more questions than answers,” Prentice said at a news conference Friday.