Four people found dead at a marijuana farm in Oklahoma over the weekend were “executed,” authorities said Tuesday.
In a statement, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said it did not name a male suspect who remained at large because his identification could endanger others.
The victims included three men and one woman, the authorities said in a statement. They were not identified but described as Chinese nationals.
A fifth Chinese citizen was injured in the incident, which took place Sunday in a rural area northwest of Oklahoma City, the authorities said. The person’s condition wasn’t immediately available.
The suspect entered a building on the property at 5:45 p.m., the statement said. There were several employees in the house at the time, and the suspect stayed there “a considerable amount of time before the executions began,” the authorities said.
In the statement, it was added that the murders did not appear to be random.
The office did not say how the victims were killed. In a statement on Monday, authorities said that MPs responding to a report of a hostage situation have found their bodies.
Armed agents were seen searching for the suspect on the property on Monday. A helicopter and a drone were also used, reported NBC subsidiary KFOR from Oklahoma City.
A spokesperson for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs said Tuesday that the agency is investigating whether an active license for medical marijuana purchased through the grower is valid.
Efforts to reach someone on Business Tuesday were unsuccessful. Reached by phone, a commercial real estate agent who handled a sales list for the property said she didn’t know anything about the owner.
The property, described in the listing as 10 acres with 5,000 square feet of growing space and 50 temporary greenhouses or hoop houses, was launched in May for $999,999.
A neighbor, Brandon Walker, said the property used to be a dairy farm but has been sold in recent years to an investment company, which resold the land before turning it into a growing operation.
Since voters in Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana in 2018, more than 10,000 businesses have been licensed and one in ten residents have received a card that allows them to purchase the product.
In May, Governor Kevin Stitt signed legislation that temporarily blocked new pharmacy and processing licenses. The move came after lawmakers stated that commercial operations, which included out-of-state farmers and foreign growers, were taking advantage of state residency requirements and limited enforcement resources.