A grand jury on Monday indicted a Florida man on murder charges in the brutal bludgeoning, strangulation and drowning deaths of his wife and four young children, whose decomposing corpses were discovered last month.
The state is seeking the death penalty against 38-year-old Michael Wayne Jones Jr.
Jones is charged with the second-degree murder of wife Casei Jones and with four first-degree murder charges in the deaths of the children, all under age 10.
An arrest affidavit has revealed that Jones allegedly bludgeoned his wife with a baseball bat on July 10 inside the family’s home in the 14600 block of SE 86th Terrace in Summerfield.
The following day, the father allegedly strangled his two step-children, Cameron Bowers, 10, and Preston Bowers, five.
According to the affidavit, two weeks later, Michael Jones drowned his two biological daughters, 11-month-old Aiyana Jones and two-year-old Mercalli Jones.
A press release from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office states that Jones left all of the bodies in his home for a few weeks, then loaded them into his van and kept them there two more weeks before transporting his family’s remains to Brantley County, Georgia.
Jones was arrested in Georgia in late September after crashing his vehicle. When police began searching the van, he told them there was a dead body inside, which turned out to be Casei’s.
He then took the officers to nearby woods where the bodies of the four children were hidden.
The affidavit states that Jones Jr told investigators he and Casei had had an argument on July 10, which culminated with his grabbing the baseball bat and beating the woman to death., reported Orlando Sentinel.
His motive for allegedly killing the children remains unknown. Jones remains jailed without bond in Marion County pending his arraignment on October 22.
Casei Jones’ family reported her and her four children missing in mid-September.
Her mother Nikki said she hadn’t seen or heard from her daughter and grandchildren for nearly six weeks and was concerned for their well-being, according to an arrest report.
When deputies searched the home for the family, they noticed it had been vacant for several weeks and ‘had the foul odor of decomposition.’
Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said during a press conference last month his deputies put out a blast for authorities across the country to be on the lookout for Michael Jones. Police in Brantley County, Georgia, pulled his truck over on September 15.
‘He was found in Brantley and gave himself up pretty quickly when he was pulled over,’ Sheriff Woods said. ‘The mother’s body was found in the vehicle.’ – Daily Mail