The body of Casei Jones, a 32-year-old Florida mother of four, was discovered in her husband’s van on September 15 after she’d been missing for six weeks, authorities say. Husband Michael Wayne Jones, 38, is accused of hiding Casei’s body in his vehicle until a car accident in Georgia forced him to confess to her murder, they allege.
“You may want to put me in handcuffs because there is a dead body inside of the vehicle,” he is accused of candidly telling police who responded to the crash.
Jones also allegedly confessed to killing the couple’s four children: Aiyana Jones, 1, Mercalli Jones, 2, Preston Bowers, 5, and Cameron Bowers, 10. Law enforcement has not divulged how Casei or the children were murdered.
An arrest warrant for Michael Jones was issued in Florida on September 16 for murder in the second degree in the death of Casei. Additional charges related to the deaths of the couple’s four children are pending. “As a father, as a parent, it breaks my heart. As a sheriff, it angers me to no end,” Woods said.
Here’s what you need to know about the disappearance and murder of Casei Jones.
1. Casei Jones’ Family Reported her Missing Six Weeks After She Disappeared
According to authorities, Casei’s family filed a formal missing person’s report on September 14, approximately six weeks after she and her children were last seen. Family and friends expressed fear for her safety and the safety of her children.
“I’ve never been so scared,” Casei’s mother, Nikki Jones told Fox 13. She said that when police checked the family’s home in the 14000 block of 86th Court in Summerfield, Florida, the house was empty. It is unknown why the family waited so long before contacting authorities.
Police issued a Missing/Endangered Persons Alert for Casei and her four children on Sunday, September 15. The alert said the mother of four might be driving a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica with Florida license plate 91SEJ. Although not stated in the press release, social media posts also mentioned that Casei’s husband Michael was also missing.
2. Casei Jones’ Body Was Discovered After Police Smelled a Foul Odor Coming From Michael Jones’ Van
Police in Brantley County, Georgia made contact with Michael Jones after he crashed his van on Sunday, September 15 near the town of Hickox. It’s unknown what caused the accident.
When police approached the van and started speaking with Jones, they say they smelled a foul odor. Jones then told the police his wife’s body was inside, authorities say. After finding her remains, Brantley County Sheriff’s investigators and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were called to the scene.
3. Michael Jones Led Police to the Bodies of his Children
Michael Jones allegedly confessed to killing his wife and children, but a motive has not been revealed. He also took detectives to the location where he’d hidden the children’s remains. Their bodies were located in a wooded area off Highway 301 in Charlton County, Georgia.
All of the bodies have been taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Medical Examiner’s Office for identification, WCJB reported.
4. Police Believe Michael Jones Murdered the Family in Florida, Stored The Bodies in the House for Several Weeks, Then Moved them to Georgia
From information gathered during their interviews with Michael Jones, investigators believe he murdered the family in their Summerfield, Florida home and stored their bodies at the residence for several weeks before transporting them to Georgia. Brantley is located approximately 150 miles north of the Jones’ family home in Summerfield. It’s not known if the Michael Jones had a connection to Georgia.
The Jones’ neighbors said they had previously seen a U-Haul parked outside the family’s Summerfield home. Sheriff Woods refused to comment about the rental truck and would only say that Casei’s body had been found in her husband’s personal vehicle.
5. Marion County Detectives Were Sent to Georgia Immediately After Jones Was Apprehended
According to Woods, after Michael Jones confessed, he immediately sent detectives to Brantley County to interview the suspect. He also obtained an arrest warrant for Jones and a search warrant for the vehicle.
Jones is currently being held at the Brantley County Jail for being a fugitive from justice, driving while a license was suspended/revoked and failure to maintain a lane (weaving in traffic). He was arrested on September 16. No bail has been set.
Woods is remaining tightlipped about the investigation and stated that he is guarding against anyone who, “can pokes holes into this case whatsoever.”
“We may not know why, but we’ll do our damnedest to find out how it was done,” Woods said. The sheriff was adamant that Michael Jones will be returned to Marion County, where “justice will be served upon him.”