After Man Crashes Van, Cops Find Bodies of Wife, 4 Kids

'True evil poked its head up here in Marion County'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2019 1:02 AM CDT
Updated Sep 17, 2019 6:51 AM CDT
Cops: Florida Man Killed Wife, 4 Kids, Stored Bodies in Van
Police released this photo of the four children after they were reported missing.   (Marion County Sheriff's Office)

"True evil poked its head up here in Marion County," Sheriff Billy Woods said after the arrest of Michael Wayne Jones Jr., a resident of the Florida county who's accused of murdering his wife and her four children. The sheriff's office says investigators believe Jones killed 32-year-old Casei Jones and her children at their Summerfield home and then stored the bodies there and in his van for weeks, CNN reports. He was arrested Sunday after he crashed his van in southeast Georgia. Deputies say they smelled a "foul odor" coming from the van and found the body of Casei Jones inside. Jones later led investigators to a location in Charlton County, where they found the bodies of 10-year-old Cameron Bowers, 5-year-old Preston Bowers, 2-year-old Mercalli Jones, and 1-year-old Aiyana Jones, reports WFTV.

Police say Jones, who has been charged with second-degree murder, was the father of two of the children. "As a father, as a parent, it breaks my heart," Woods told reporters Monday. "As a sheriff, it angers me to no end." Marion County Sgt. Paul Bloom says Casei Jones' mother reported her missing Saturday because she hadn't seen her or her grandchildren for six weeks, the New York Times reports. Bloom says the mother thought she had been communicating with her daughter electronically for weeks—but it may not have really been her. Police say they haven't uncovered a motive. "We've never been to the house before on any calls and had no dealings with this couple prior to now," Bloom says. "The 'why' is a question everyone wants to know, but we don't know." (More Florida stories.)

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