Man charged with strangling, drowning four kids after killing their mom

Central Florida
An arrest affidavit said the suspect told investigators he and wife had had an argument in their home on July 10.

BY RICHARD TRIBOU
ORLANDO SENTINEL/TNS

ORLANDO – The Central Florida man who was found with the body of his wife in the back of his vehicle, and who led authorities to the bodies of her four children has now been charged in all five of their deaths.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that Michael Wayne Jones Jr., 38, of Summerfield, has been charged with four counts of first degree premeditated homicide in the deaths of his two biological children Mercalli Jones, 2 and Aiyana Jones, 1, and two stepchildren, Cameron Bowers, 10, Preston Bowers, 5.

He remains jailed, already in custody and charged with second degree homicide in the death of Casei Jones, his wife.

BODIES IN HOME FOR WEEKS

The sheriff’s office said that investigators believed Jones Jr. killed Casei Jones on July 10 with a bat in their Marion County home, and that on the following day, he killed the two oldest children by strangulation. Approximately two weeks later, he killed the youngest children by drowning them.

The sheriff’s office said Jones Jr. then left the bodies in the home for a few weeks before placing them in his van and keeping them there for an additional two weeks before driving all five bodies to Brantley County, Georgia.

Jones Jr. was transported back to Florida on Sept. 18 after his arrest in Georgia, during which authorities found the body of Casei Jones in the back of his van, which had been involved in a traffic accident. He then led authorities to another county in Georgia where he said he had disposed of the bodies of her four children.

The arrest affidavit for Jones Jr. stated he told investigators he and wife had had an argument in their Summerfield home on July 10 that led to her death. The affidavit said that Jones Jr. told investigators Casei Jones grabbed a baseball bat during the argument and that he took the bat from her and then beat her to death with it.

The arrest came after family members contacted the Marion County Sheriff’s Office with concerns that they had not heard from Casei Jones in six weeks and feared for their safety.

Jones Jr. remains held without bail and has an Oct. 22 court date for his arraignment.

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