Missing Florida Mother and Her Four Children All Found Dead, Sheriff Says

CNN Newsource
By CNN Newsource
September 16, 2019US News
Missing Florida Mother and Her Four Children All Found Dead, Sheriff Says
Casei Jones (R) and her children. (Marion County Sheriff's Office)

Florida man allegedly killed his wife and their four children and then stored the bodies at his home and in his van for several weeks before taking their remains to Georgia, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said.

Casei Jones, 32, and her children, who range in age from 1 to 10, were last seen about six weeks ago in the Ocala, Florida, area, the sheriff’s office said. Her family reported them missing Saturday night, police said.

On Monday, Sept. 16, her body was found near Brantley County in southeast Georgia, about 150 miles north of her last known Florida address, said the sheriff’s office. Investigators also found the remains of whom they believe to be all four children, Sheriff Billy Woods said.

Officials believe the children are Cameron Bowers, 10; Preston Bowers, 5; ​​​​Mercalli Jones, 2; and Aiyana Jones, 1, who were last seen in the Ocala area.

“Detectives have confirmed that they have located the remains of four children in Brantley County, Georgia,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post on Monday afternoon, adding that they “believe the remains may be those” of the missing children.

Jones’ husband, Michael Wayne Jones Jr., 38, was located by police in Brantley County after a traffic accident, Woods said. Casei Jones’ remains were found in the vehicle he was driving, and he later led detectives to the remains of the four children, authorities said.

Investigators believe he killed them and kept their bodies for several weeks before driving them to Brantley County in Georgia.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest for second-degree homicide in Florida, and more charges may be coming, police said.

“True evil poked its head up here in Marion County,” Woods said. “That’s about the only best way to describe it.”

Casei Jones, 32, and her four children, who range in age from 1 to 10 years old, were last seen about six weeks ago in the Ocala, Florida,
Casei Jones, 32. (Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

Facts About Crime in the United States

Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (pdf).

The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.

The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.

The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.

While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.

Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

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