Three men have been arrested in a Pittsburg County murder investigation after a man was found beaten and burned to death in a walkway at a rural cemetery.
Two of the men arrested are in the Pittsburg County Jail. The other, who is a stepson of the victim, is being held more than 1,500 miles away in Washington State.
“We had a theory from pretty much the beginning that involved these three,” Detective Randy Hass said.
Investigators said Bobby Joe Dalpoas Jr.'s body was found in a cemetery in Bache on the Fourth of July. Hass said investigators believe the incident started at Dalpoas’ home, and the three suspects dumped his body at the cemetery. Bache is southeast of McAlester.
The three suspects arrested on complaints of first degree murder in the case are Tyler Morgan, Matt Vermillion and Jimmy Nace.
The Pittsburg County Sheriff said Morgan is Dalpoas Jr.'s stepson, and is serving in the Army at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. The Army has taken him into custody. Hass interviewed Morgan when he was in town on leave. Now the United States Army Criminal Investigations Command is investigating, too.
“Whenever I brought them on board and they opened up a joint investigation with us, they did a follow up with him up there and that was yesterday,” Hass said.
Late Tuesday night, deputies arrested Vermillion in Krebs, and Nace, in Haileyville.
Hass said Dalpoas Jr.'s family is feeling a sense of relief.
“They’ve been in contact with me every week since it started and they’ve been very patient and let us do our job,” Hass said.
“I really feel sorry for his family, because no family member should have to got through that,” Kash Walters said.
Walters grew up with Dalpoas and said his death is a sad loss for the community. Dalpoas was 49 years old.
“Bobby was a great a guy, [I] played football with him. He was very cheerful, and very happy most of the time,” Walters said.
The detective working the case would not elaborate on the roles each of the suspects had in the death, and said the motive is still under investigation.