Authorities said Monday that authorities are searching for a suspect after four were found dead at what appeared to be a marijuana grow in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that the victims, who have not been identified, were discovered after deputies from the Kingfisher County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report on the hostage situation.
The statement did not identify the potential suspect or the victims, nor did it provide additional details about the hostage situation or how the four were killed.
NBC affiliate KFOR affiliate NBC in Oklahoma City reported that a fifth person was injured in the accident. Their status was not immediately available.
On Monday, armed agents were seen conducting building-to-building searches of the ground when a drone and helicopter flew overhead, KFOR reported.
The 10-acre property where the killings took place is believed to be a marijuana plantation, the station said, citing Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Capt. Stan Florence.
The station reported that medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 2018, and investigators said they had found a license to grow the plantation. It is not clear if it is correct, according to Kfour’s strength.
It was not immediately clear who owns the land or runs the apparent operation. A listing on a commercial real estate site placed earlier this year described the property as an “operational growth” with a growing 5,000 square feet.
The property is listed at $999,999. The agent handling the sale did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A neighbour, Brandon Walker, said the land once belonged to a dairy farm, but was bought at auction by an investment firm in recent years and sold again.
The new owners, whom he didn’t know personally, he said, had turned it into a marijuana plant and erected dozens of “screw houses,” or temporary greenhouses, and shingle fencing surrounding the property, he said.
The property listing says there are 50 of these structures and a small milk barn which has also been converted into a grow room.
Walker, 42, runs a spray foam insulation company and got off the ground about two years ago after a contractor asked him to do insulation work on the farm. He said he didn’t end up doing the work, but while he was there he noticed that in addition to the hoop houses, there were dozens of people who looked like workers.
Walker said he did not know what caused the killing. But with the suspect still on the run, he added, “I’m sure everyone here is exercising their Second Amendment rights.”
Lindsay Bibia Contributed.