More details are being made public in the death of 50-year-old Brent Mack, who went missing in late September and whose body was recovered last week in northern Logan County.
A family member of Mack reported him missing on Sept. 28 with the Guthrie Police Department stating that no one had seen or heard from him since Sept. 20. The reporting party reportedly contacted Mack’s boss, Dan Triplett, 66, who operated a septic tank installation business.
According to the family member, Triplett explained to them that he had fired Mack on Sept. 20, gave him $1,000 in cash for severance and dropped him off in the 100 block of W. Cleveland. On the same day, a bag with Mack’s work clothes was found in a residence’s back yard near the same area where Triplett said he had allegedly dropped Mack off. Investigators said Triplett told them Mack had gotten out of his truck with a green army style duffel bag.
However, investigators found multiple surveillance videos in the 100 block of W. Cleveland that show Triplett’s vehicle driving by, but does not show the vehicle stopping and Mack not being dropped off.
Agents said Triplett’s story, where he dropped off Mack, had changed several times during the interview. Triplett stated he had stopped in the area where Mack’s bag was found, but that he stopped there to check the lights on his truck. Triplett was asked about other jobs and locations, but Triplett stated he couldn’t remember, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Early in the investigation, Triplett spoke with investigators and reportedly said he wanted to cut ties with Mack because of his violent demeanor and gave him $1,000 as a severance pay. When asked about what job had been completed on Sept. 20, Triplett gave an address north of Crescent. However, the property owner told agents the septic tank and lateral lines installed by Triplett had been completed on Sept. 8, according to court documents.
The property owner added that a black male subject was also working with Triplett and remembered the two men being in an argument. They stated that Triplett and the subject had argued back and forth.
A document search warrant was executed at the home of Triplett. Agents found records indicating Triplett wasn’t working at the location on Sept. 20 he had given earlier near Crescent, but instead a few miles away southwest of Mulhall.
At the Mulhall location, Triplett allegedly told the landowners that he would have a worker help him with the installation. According to the probable cause affidavit, surveillance video on Sept. 20 shows two people arriving at the job site in Triplett’s vehicle, but only one person seen leaving.
“It is apparent that Brent disappears from the view of the camera down into a hole that is being dug by Dan for the placement of a septic tank,” an agent said in a written report. “Brent is never seen again in the camera footage after going down into that hole.”
On Oct. 21, Guthrie Police, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations and Medical Examiner Investigators removed the septic tank where Mack was last seen with Triplett. A body was recovered approximately eight feet below surface buried under the septic tank at the job site. The body, which was wearing work boots and gloves, recovered had a wallet in the front pocket with two different photo ID’s belonging to Mack.
Triplett was taken into custody after members of the Special Response Team (SRT), Guthrie Police Department, OSBI and LCSO surrounded his home. He was arrested and booked into the Logan County Jail for first degree murder and descecration of a human corpse.
The following day, agents were notified by the Medical Examiner’s Office that what they believe to be a bullet in the chest cavity with an entry wound in the uper left back. Another search on Triplett’s property was conducted with additional evidence collected by police.
On Monday, Triplett was formally charged on the two counts via a video conference and was not given a bond by a Logan County judge.
Mack’s daughter said her father and Triplett had a rocky relationship.
“He worked with Dan for roughly about three years, and they had kind of a love-hate situation.”
So far, a motive has not been publicly revealed in the case.