Body found in Coal County may be missing Wapanucka man - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Body found in Coal County may be missing Wapanucka man

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Authorities believe the remains of Stephen Simonds were located in rural Coal County on May 23, 2019. (KTEN) Authorities believe the remains of Stephen Simonds were located in rural Coal County on May 23, 2019. (KTEN)
Nakoda Brumley (left) and Johnny Lowe Jr. were arrested in connection with the death of Wapanukca resident Stephen Simonds. (Johnston County Jail) Nakoda Brumley (left) and Johnny Lowe Jr. were arrested in connection with the death of Wapanukca resident Stephen Simonds. (Johnston County Jail)

COAL COUNTY, Okla. -- Law enforcement is investigating the discovery of a body in Coal County on Thursday as a homicide case.

The remains were found near a creek in a rural area along County Road 1780.  Authorities believe it is Stephen Simonds.

"We had a missing persons report on May 14th from the family of the individual who lived here in Wapanucka," Johnston County Sheriff Jon Smith said.The remains have yet to be positively identified, but Simonds' death is being investigated as a murder.

The Johnston County Sheriff's Office said Wapanucka residents Nakoda Max Brumley and Johnny Lowe Jr. were arrested Wednesday in connection with the case, and additional arrests were said to be likely.

"We're told the body was supposedly dumped off this bridge and floated about a mile downstream... that's where they found the body," Smith said.

Simonds, 48, had not contacted family members since May 8. An inquiry by the sheriff's office and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation pointed to Brumley and Lowe.

"We obtained information that led to the arrest of two suspects -- both from Wapanucka --  and led us to believe that it was no longer a missing person but a homicide," the sheriff said.

The two suspects are being held at the Johnston County Jail. Brumley was arrested on a first degree murder charge; Lowe is facing a firearms possession charge.

"I can't say enough about the assistance provided by the Coal County Sheriff's Office and Coal County emergency response personnel who spent some long and arduous hours searching and ultimately locating the victim's body," Sheriff Smith said in a written statement praising inter-agency cooperation.

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