Florida man drove with bodies of wife, 4 kids to Georgia


(Doug Engle/Star-Banner via AP)

1 of 6In this Wednesday morning Sept. 18, 2019 photo, Detention Cpl. Shaguanta Scott, left and Detention Deputy Darryl Keaton, right, escort Michael W. Jones Jr. back to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in Ocala, Fla. Jones, suspected of killing his wife and four children and driving their bodies into Georgia, was returned to Florida to face murder charges. (Doug Engle/Star-Banner via AP)

OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A man suspected of killing his wife and four children and driving their bodies into Georgia has returned to Florida to face murder charges, authorities said.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports Michael W. Jones Jr., 38, is charged so far with the death of Casei Jones. Her body was found in his van following a crash in Hickox, Georgia last week.

Investigators found the decomposed bodies of the children — Cameron Bowers, 10; Preston Bowers, 5; Mercalli Jones, 2; and Aiyana Jones, 1 — in woods nearby. They had been missing for six weeks.

Autopsies were done Wednesday in Savannah, Georgia.

Marion County, Florida, Judge Robert Landt ordered Jones held without bond during a hearing in Ocala on Thursday morning. An arraignment was set for Oct. 22.

Because Jones is being held without bond, authorities don’t need to rush to prepare charges in the children’s deaths, according to Chief Assistant State Attorney Ric Ridgway.

Marion County Sheriff’s Sgt. Paul Bloom said investigators believe the family was killed at home near Ocala.

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