Suspect claims he allegedly threw murder weapon into random passing pickup truck in Oklahoma


TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — A suspect allegedly told investigators he didn’t know where the weapon went because he threw it into a random pickup truck that was passing by in Oklahoma, officials say.

According to KOKI, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Joe Garcia and Michael Clark for their alleged role in Andrew Hopkins’ death.

Hopkins’ body was found under a bridge in Tahlequah, Oklahoma by drivers in the area. CCSO told KOKI that an informant came forward and told investigators that he saw Hopkins’ body inside one of Garcia’s commercial buildings in the area, which led them to question Garcia.

KOKI reported that CCSO said Garcia allegedly confessed to killing Hopkins during a second interview after he learned that Hopkins had been stealing from him. CCSO Sheriff Jason Chennault told KOKI that Garcia confronted Hopkins. Hopkins blacked out and Garcia ended up shooting him.

According to KOKI, Clark was also arrested for allegedly helping to clean up the crime scene.

Garcia allegedly told CCSO that the 12 gauge pump-action shotgun that was used to kill Hopkins had disappeared and he didn’t know where it was. He then came up with a story that he went outside and threw it in the back of a random pickup truck passing by without the driver’s knowledge, according to KOKI.

Chennault told KOKI that CCSO didn’t buy the story. CCSO believes the shotgun could have also been dumped with Hopkins but so far it has not yet been recovered.

Anyone who drove through Tahlequah, Oklahoma earlier in July and finds a shotgun in their pickup truck, is asked to call CCSO at 405-471-6049. According to KOKI, they will not be in trouble for unknowingly being in possession of a murder weapon.

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