A Florida father has been charged with the deaths of his family members three months after they were killed. According to the Orlando Sentinel, 38-year-old Michael Wayne Jones Jr. was found by local authorities with his wife’s body before taking officers to the bodies of his four children.
The Summerfield resident was charged with four counts of first-degree premeditated homicide on October 8. His victims have been identified as 2-year-old Mercalli Jones and 1-year-old Aiyana Jones, who are reported to be his biological children, and his two step-children, 10-year-old Cameron Bowers and 5-year-old Preston Bowers.
Jones Jr. was also charged with second-degree homicide for his wife’s death, Casei Jones. As the Orlando Sentinel reports, Casei’s alleged murder took place on July 10.
According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, on July 10, Casei was with Jones Jr. when he reportedly hit his wife with a bat until she died. The following day, Jones Jr. then killed their two oldest children, Cameron and Preston, by strangulation.
The sheriff’s office believes Mercalli and Aiyana were killed by Jones Jr. two weeks after their siblings were killed. Reports say the 1- and 2-year-olds were drowned to death.
The suspect reportedly kept all five of the bodies in the home for weeks before transporting them into his van, where they remained for another two weeks. Jones Jr. then ultimately moved the bodies of his wife and four children to Brantley County, Georgia.
As WPEC reports, Jones Jr. was eventually arrested on Septemeber 18 in Georgia after police discovered Casei’s body still in his van, which was involved in a traffic accident on September 15. his arrest, Jones Jr. then showed police where he hid the bodies of his four children.
The 38-year-old told authorities that Casei’s death was the result of an argument they had on July 10. The reason why he took the lives of his four children is still unknown. Police first began looking for Jones Jr. after a family member notified local authorities, saying that they haven’t been in contact with Casei or her children in six weeks.
Sheriff Billy Woods told the press, “Justice will be served upon him. As far as I’m concerned, as the sheriff of this county, underneath the jail ain’t good enough. He has no right to walk the face of this earth. I hate to be him when he stands before the lord.”
Jones is currently being held without bail and is expected to back in court on October 22. Jones will face the death penalty.