Michael Wayne Jones, 38, of Summerfield, Florida, is accused in connection with the death of his wife Casei Jones, 32 and their four children, Cameron Bowers, 10, Preston Bowers, 5, Mercali Jones, 2, and Aiyana Jones, 1. No motive has been given for the murders.
According to Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods, Casei’s body was discovered in Michael’s van on September 15 after he had a single car crash in Brantley County, Georgia, more than 150 miles away from the family’s Florida home near Ocala.
“You may want to put me in handcuffs because there is a dead body inside of the vehicle,” Michael Jones is accused of telling police who responded to the crash. After allegedly confessing to murdering his wife, he took authorities to the secluded spot where he’d hidden the children’s bodies, they say.
“Evil poked its head up here in Marion County. That’s the only way to describe it,” Woods said.
Michael Wayne Jones is being held without bail in the Brantley County Jail on accusations of being a fugitive from justice, driving with a suspended/revoked license and failure to maintain lane (weaving over roadway). Woods said that Marion County has issued an arrest warrant charging him with murder. Charges for the deaths of the children are forthcoming.
“He has no right to walk the face of this earth,” Woods told reporters, adding, “I’d hate to be him when he stands before the Lord.”
Here’s what you need to know about Michael Wayne Jones and the disappearance of Casei and their four children.
1. Family Members Filed a Missing Person Report Six Weeks After Casei Jones & Her Children Went Missing
According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Casei Jones’ family filed a missing person report for Casei and the four children on the night of September 14 after not hearing from them for six weeks. The following morning, an alert was issued with a description of Casei that included photos of her and the kids, along with information about the Chrysler Pacifica she may have been driving.
Woods said that his deputies had been working tirelessly on the case. “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.
2. Michael Jones Is Accused of Confessing to Having His Wife’s Body in the Van After Police Smelled Something Foul
On Sunday, September 15, police first made contact with Michael Jones when they responded to a traffic accident near the town of Hickox in Brantley County, Georgia. When they approached his van and began talking to him, they smelled a foul odor emanating from the vehicle. It was then that he confessed his wife’s body was inside.
Brantley County detectives and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) were called to the scene. Marion County authorities were also alerted that Michael Jones had been apprehended.
WCJB reported that Mike Jones is accused of leading police to the children’s bodies, telling authorities he’d hidden them just before the accident. They were discovered in a wooded area off Highway 301 in Charlton County, Georgia, just south of Brantley County. The remains of Casei Jones and the four children were taken to the GBI’s Medical Examiner’s office for identification.
3. Michael Jones Is Accused of Murdering the Family in Florida, Then Keeping the Bodies in his Car for ‘At Least a Couple of Weeks’
According to Marion County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Paul Bloom, the murders were committed in Marion County, Florida. “The bodies were there in the home for maybe up to a couple, two or three weeks, and from there moved to the car, and he’s had the victims’ bodies in his vehicle we believe for at least a couple of weeks now.”
Woods said his detectives don’t know why Mike Jones allegedly committed the murder “but we’ll do our damnedest to find out how [the murders were committed],” he said.
4. Casei Jones’ Family Alleges That Michael Jones Was Violent
Casei’s sister, Sarah Gilbert said Michael Jones could be violent. “There were signs,” she told First Coast News. Gilbert said that family members frequently begged Casei to leave her husband, “but she was in love.”
Gilbert remarked that the family had seen “violent, and obsessive and I would say very angry acts, toward Casei and sometimes, even her boys.”
5. Neighbors Said They Saw Mike Jones Acting Oddly
After it was revealed that the family had been murdered, neighbor Trish Garren told WCJB that the Jones family kept to themselves, but neighbors suspected Michael Jones was “on drugs” or “appeared to be on drugs.”
Garren also shared that the neighbors had seen Mike Jones acting oddly. “Other neighbors said that they did see suspicious things like two-something in the morning, putting black trash bags in the vehicle and only seeing him, nobody else, and that was right after (Hurricane Dorian).