SC Dad Probed for Abuse Before Child Murders

Timothy Ray Jones faces 5 counts of murder
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2014 11:34 AM CDT
SC Dad Probed for Abuse Before Child Murders
A view of the home of Timothy Ray Jones is shown in Red Bank, SC, on Sept. 10, 2014.   (AP Photo/ Richard Shiro)

Questions remain as to how a man once described by a therapist as "a highly intelligent, responsible father" could be accused of killing his five children. But as the New York Times reports, Timothy Ray Jones "was leading a fractured life fraught with feelings of betrayal, anxiety, and mistrust" before police say he murdered his kids in South Carolina and dumped their bodies in Alabama. After eight years of marriage, Jones and wife Amber divorced in 2013 when Jones found she "was putting the children to bed and then going next door" to meet a 19-year-old neighbor with whom she was having an affair, according to a divorce filing. Jones got custody of the couple's kids, but he was questioned by police last month about possible abuse.

A report claimed Jones, an engineer at Intel, abused at least one child, though officers saw no signs of wrongdoing on their visit to the family's trailer home. Less than a month later, on Sept. 3, the children were reported missing by their mother; on Sept. 6, police pulled over Jones in Mississippi and found him "high as a kite" with blood, bleach, and rags in his vehicle, prosecutors say. Police tell NBC News they believe Jones killed the children sometime before their mother reported them missing, then "traveled three states with these children in garbage bags for some period of time," the sheriff tells WLTX. The New York Daily News reports Jones will be charged with five counts of murder when he is extradited to South Carolina. Autopsies of the bodies begin today. The AP, citing prison documents and a family member, reports that a 19-year-old Jones went on a crime spree in Illinois in 2001 that included car theft, burglary, drug charges, and more. (More Timothy Ray Jones stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.