Florida man held in wife's killing now charged with kids' murders

Investigators believe 2 children were strangled and the other 2 were drowned

By Garrett Pelican - Digital executive producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Authorities released new details Monday in the case of Michael Jones, the Marion County man suspected of killing his family and dumping their bodies in South Georgia.

Jones, 38, who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in his wife’s killing, now faces four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of her children, whose ages range from 1 to 10 years old.

Jones appeared before a judge Tuesday morning on the new murder charges and was again denied bond.

Based on evidence collected in the case so far, detectives believe Jones killed his wife with a bat July 10 and strangled the eldest two children the next day, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. The younger children were drowned about two weeks later.

Jones was taken into custody Sept. 15 at the scene of a single-vehicle crash along U.S. 301 in Brantley County after his wife’s remains were found inside the family van. Remarks made by Jones ultimately led authorities to the children’s burial site.

Investigators suspect the bodies were stored inside their Summerfield home for a few weeks before they were loaded into the van, where they were kept for two more weeks. A motive has not yet been released, though Jones said his wife was killed in self-defense.

Jones remains in custody at the Marion County jail.

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