Officials have released an incident report that sheds new light on the gruesome murder of a Florida woman and the alleged strangulation and drowning deaths of her four children.
Earlier this month, Michael Wayne Jones Jr., 38, was charged with four counts of first-degree premeditated homicide in the deaths of his two children, 2-year-old Mercalli Jones and 1-year-old Aiyana Jones, and his two step-children, 10-year-old Cameron Bowers and 5-year-old Preston Bowers.
Michael Jones Jr. has also been charged with the death of his wife, Casei Jones, after she was found dead inside a van driven by the suspect.
According to the incident report released this week, Marion County deputies attempted to perform a welfare check on Casei Jones' home on Sept. 14 due to suspicious events that had taken place in the weeks prior.
Casei Jones' mother said she had been looking after Casei Jones' children for approximately two weeks and had not heard from her daughter in that time. When Michael Jones came to pick up the children, Casei Jones was also not with him which made her increasingly nervous.
"Hearing it from a detective didn't give that kind of chilling, like when you read and hear it from him," Sarah Gilbert, Casei's sister said she found few answers why Jones killed her and her family.
The incident report states that upon arrival at 14680 Se 86 Terrance in Marion County for the welfare check, deputies observed that the residence appeared empty.
Deputies made contact with the neighbor who had done a walk-through with the landlord two weeks prior at Casei and Michael Jones' residence. The neighbor said when he was inside the home he was overwhelmed by an 'awful smell' that he described as “something dead.”
By looking in a window, Deputies observed two two-gallon containers of cleaner and bleach next to a mop bucket at the door
On Sept. 15, the sheriff's office got a tip that Michael Jones was in Brantley County, Georgia following a traffic crash on highway 301.
When the deputies arrived on scene, Michael Jones told them he had killed his wife several weeks prior and that she was in the van. He was taken into custody for questioning.
Michael Jones also then helped lead detectives to the remains of Casei Jones' four children.
"If you don't read it, someone will bring it up to you, and it was horrific," Gilbert described the report.
All four bodies were found in a wooded area in Brantley County, stuffed inside suitcases and plastic totes. 2-year-old Mercalli Jones and 1-year-old Aiyana Jones were both located inside a single tote. Inside was a baby bottle with Aiyana’s name on it and a small, pink pair of girls' sandals.
Based on these discoveries, deputies returned to Casei Jones' home in Marion County with a search warrant. The incident report states that deputies immediately detected an odor of decomposition and a reddish discoloration on the baseboards.
The report states that decomposition fluids were also noticeable on the baseboards and vinyl flooring in the corner of one of the rooms.
In Brantley County, Jones' car was also searched and deputies reported immediately "detecting the strong, obvious odor of human decomposition emitting from the van," the report states. The inside of the van contained plastic totes, clothing, tools, and other miscellaneous items.
A gray plastic tote was also reportedly found. Deputies say the tote contained liquid believed to be body fluid. Deputies believe that the tote was the one that victim Casei Jones was found inside of.
The report states that a comforter, pillow, shower curtain and fluid-covered zip ties were also found inside the vehicle.
During questioning, Michael Jones told investigators that he and his wife got into an argument about him cheating and she began pushing him with a bat before taking it from her. He then described hitting her repeatedly in the head, killing her.
According to the report, he told deputies he strangled his older step-children, Cameron and Preston, that next day.
Two weeks later, the report says Michael Jones drove to Belleview City Hall with his two children, Mercalli, 2, and Aiyanna Jones, 1.
He described looking over at the police department nearby trying to get up the nerve to go turn himself in or hoping someone would arrest him.
According to the report, when deputies asked Michael Jones why he committed the murders of the children, he stated, “I don’t know just everything mounted up and it seemed like the way out.”
Gilbert is hoping that the maximum punishment is carried out.
"They [the prosecutors] said they're going for the death penalty, and if that's true, yes, I would be sitting right there, I would want to be the last face he sees," Gilbert added.
Michael Wayne Jones Jr. is being held at the Marion County Jail, where he has stayed since being charged with 2nd Degree Homicide for the death of his wife.
Michael Jones remains booked into the Marion County Jail.