MARION COUNTY, Fla. — A Summerfield man accused of killing his wife and her four children, then storing their bodies in his van for several weeks, was denied bond Thursday morning.
- Michael Wayne Jones Jr. is accused of killing wife, 4 children
- Jones Jr. is on suicide watch; next hearing is in October
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Michael Wayne Jones Jr. will remain in jail until his next hearing October 22. He's been placed on suicide watch.
Jones Jr. was arrested in Georgia on Monday and has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Casei Jones. More charges are expected to follow in the deaths of four children, two of which were his. The children were Cameron, 10; Preston, 5; Mercallie, 2; and Aiyana, 1.
A silent Jones Jr. walked past a gauntlet of news media and onlookers. He arrived in Marion County earlier Wednesday morning from Brantley County, Georgia, where authorities allege he tried to hide the bodies of the four children and admitted to the crime.
Because Jones waived his extradition, authorities were able to fast-track his return to Florida.
One question on many people’s minds: Why did Casei Jones' family take so long to report her and the children's disappearance?
“The mother who reported this, she felt like she was talking to her daughter, but at this point, we feel like the husband was doing the texting and the contacting, and kind of led her along,” said Sgt. Paul Bloom with Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
“But at some point as the weeks went on, it was just some clues to her that said, 'Hey, this is not like her,’” Bloom added.
As of now, Jones is only charged in Casei Jones' death and not the four children. Investigators say that’s because the remains of the children have not been positively identified. The autopsies will be performed in Savannah, Georgia.
“We suspect that they were killed about six weeks ago, so these autopsies may not be as simple and straightforward as others have been,” Bloom said.
Officials allege Jones put the bodies of his family into a van, which he lived out of for several weeks. He ended up in south Georgia, where he crashed a car. That's when authorities say he admitted to hiding the bodies. The body of Casei Jones was found in the car; the children were found in a wooded area.