An Oklahoma man is accused of fatally shooting his parents and then attempting to stage their deaths look like a robbery gone bad.
Beverly and Joseph Spence were found shot to death inside their Tulsa home on Monday, a spokesperson for the Tulsa Police Department told Oxygen.com.
Their son Bryan Spence, 40, of Stillwater, was arrested the same day and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, according to online jail records.
Police were called Monday after someone spotted an abandoned vehicle, Tulsa Police Department public information officer Danny Bean said at a press conference, Tulsa World reports. The car keys were inside, along with multiple rifles. Officers soon discovered that it belonged to the Spence family.
When officers stopped by the Spence residence, they noticed a “strong” smell of gas. They also discovered the bodies of Beverly and Joseph. It’s not clear if the gas smell had anything to do with the murders.
Police confirmed to Oxygen.com that they believe that Bryan killed his parents and then tried to cover it up as a burglary. Police found text messages on Bryan’s iPad between him and his dad, which led police to believe that he owed his father $17,000, local outlet KTUL reports. On Sunday, Joseph reportedly told his son he would visit him to retrieve his money, but Bryan allegedly offered to go to his parents’ home instead.
Bryan is being held on $2 million bail, according to online jail records. It is not clear if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
The slain couple is being remembered in their community.
“Everyone I have talked to today tell me they were the nicest and most amazing people who were heavily involved in their church,” a KOTV reporter stated.
Their pastor at Tulsa’s Cornerstone Church, Jon Odom, told KTUL, “They were committed, they were servant-hearted, they loved people.”
He added, “Joe and Beverly were the kind of people if you needed anything they would be there in a heartbeat.”
, ‘ Sign up for our and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.