A man whose body was found alongside a rural Lincoln County roadway was reportedly shot "execution-style," the sheriff reports, and investigators hope they can identify the victim from his tattoos as they search for persons of interest in the case.
Lincoln County Sheriff Charlie Dougherty said the victim, described as being a white male of unknown age, had a pillowcase over his head. His ankles were tied together with shoestrings and ropes bound his wrists when passersby found his body about 10 feet from a rural roadway near Wellston, the sheriff said.
From the investigation so far, Dougherty said they believe the man had been dead 24 to 48 hours when he was discovered Wednesday night, but they also believe the area where he was found is the location of the crime scene.
"He was shot two times in the back of the head, execution-style," Dougherty said, adding two 9 mm shell casings also were found at the scene.
Autopsy results outlining the cause and manner of death are awaited from the state medical examiner's office.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, along with the district attorney's Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, are investigating this case with deputies, Dougherty said. While OSBI agents worked to process the crime scene and collect evidence, they also are releasing a photo of the man's tattoos in hopes someone will recognize them and he can be identified.
Jessica Brown, OSBI spokeswoman, said the male victim had a tattoo of three initials on his right arm and a tattoo in the symbol of a cross on the left arm.
Dougherty said late Thursday night that the first 24 hours of the investigation have included numerous interviews and they've also identified two persons of interest they want to locate and question as part of this case.
The sheriff said three other incidents within a mile of the crime scene, which is about 1.5 miles west of the Lincoln/Oklahoma county line, also are being looked at as possible connections to the man's death. A vehicle also has been impounded that could relate to the case, Dougherty said.
The preliminary investigation points to the case being drug or gang-related, Dougherty said, adding they've been working with Del City police as well as the Oklahoma City Police gang unit as part of the probe.
Anyone who recognizes the victim's tattoos or has more information about the case is asked to call either the OSBI at 1-800-522-8017 or the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office at 405-258-1191.