Oklahoma deputies answering hostage report find 4 dead at suspected marijuana grow

Authorities were searching for a suspect after four people were found dead at an apparent marijuana grow in Oklahoma, authorities said Monday.

The victims, who were not identified, were discovered after deputies from the Kingfisher County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a hostage situation, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

The statement did not identify a potential suspect or the victims, nor did it provide additional details about the hostage situation or how the four were killed. 

A fifth person was injured in the incident, NBC affiliate KFOR of Oklahoma City reported. Their condition wasn’t immediately available.

Four people have been found dead and one injured following a reported hostage situation west of Hennessey, Okla.KFOR

On Monday, armed agents could be seen doing building-to-building searches on the land as a drone and a helicopter flew overhead, KFOR reported.

The 10-acre property where the killings occurred was believed to be a marijuana farm, according to the station, which cited Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Capt. Stan Florence.

Medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 2018, and investigators said they found the farm’s grow license, the station reported. It isn’t clear if it is valid, according to KFOR.

It wasn’t immediately clear who owns the land or runs the apparent operation. A listing on a commercial real estate site placed earlier this year describes the property as an “operational grow” with 5,000 square feet of growing space.

The property is listed at $999,999. The agent handling the sale did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A neighbor, Brandon Walker, said the land used to belong to a dairy farm, but that business was bought at auction by an investment company in recent years and sold again.

The new owners, whom he didn’t know personally, turned it into a marijuana grow and erected dozens of “hoop houses,” or temporary greenhouses, and a panel fence that surrounds the property, he said. 

The property listing says there are 50 such grow structures and a small milk barn that was also converted to a grow room.

Walker, 42, runs a spray foam insulation business and stopped by the land roughly two years ago after a contractor asked him to do insulation work at the farm. He didn’t end up doing the job, he said, but while he was there he noted that in addition to the hoop houses, there were dozens of people who appeared to be workers.

Walker said he didn’t know what may have prompted the killings. But with the suspect still on the run, he added, “I’m pretty sure everyone around here is exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.”

Lindsey Pipia contributed.

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