OCALA, Fla. — The bodies of four missing Marion County children were found in a wooded area in south Georgia after the husband of their mom told authorities responding to a crash that there was a body in his vehicle, Marion Sheriff's officials said Monday.
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The bodies have been transported to a Medical Examiner's office, where they are awaiting positive identification. The missing children of Casei Jones are Cameron, 10, Preston, 5, Mercallie, 2, and Aiyana, 1.
Jones, a 32-year-old Summerfield resident, and her four children had not been seen in six weeks, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office. On Saturday night, her family reported her missing.
Michael Wayne Jones Jr., 38, was found in Georgia and has been charged with second degree murder in connection to her death. More charges are pending against him in connection to the deaths of his children.
"He has no right to walk the face of this Earth. I'd hate to be him when he stands before the Lord. Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do to bring those children back. How someone could do this, I do not know. I won't even try to guess how someone could do such evil to a child," Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said during a news conference Monday afternoon.
Brantley County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that it first made contact with Michael Jones Jr. after deputies responded to a call about a single-vehicle crash Sunday. Deputies said they smelled a foul odor, and that's when Jones Jr. reportedly told them, "You may want to put me in handcuffs because there's a dead body inside the vehicle," the news release said.
Woods said the body was of Casei Jones.
Investigators said Michael Jones admitted to them that he hid the "death of other bodies."
Not long after, four bodies were found in a wooded area in Charlton County, deputies said.
Neighbors said they saw Jones's husband moving stuff out of their home a day before Hurricane Dorian swept up Florida's east coast.
"It was around 2:30 a.m., and my husband noticed that the man, he had black trash bags, and they was tied up and he was loading them in his truck. (It was) very disturbing, and especially knowing we have our own kids and it's close to home," Katrina Sesler said.
Marion County detectives think Michael Jones Jr. killed his wife and the four children at their Summerfield home on the 14600 block of SE 86th Terrace several weeks ago. They say he stored the bodies at the home and in his van before transporting them to Georgia.
"Evil did something. And evil needs to pay for what he did," Woods said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office at 352-732-9111.