'He's a monster': Murdered woman's mother shares anguish

Michael Jones Jr. accused of killing wife, 4 children, keeping bodies for weeks

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter

Nikki Jones

"Monster." That's how a woman is describing her son-in-law after he was accused of killing her daughter and her four grandchildren and storing their bodies for weeks.

Nikki Jones is trying to come to grips with the murder of her daughter, 32-year-old Casei, and her young grandchildren, who were found buried in the woods along U.S. 301 near Folkston.

Casei's husband, Michael Jones Jr., happens to share his mother-in-law's common surname.

Detectives said they believe Michael Jones murdered his family in Marion County and stored the bodies at his home and in his van for several weeks before driving them to Brantley County, Georgia.

"He's a monster, and the monster's gotta pay," Nikki Jones told WNDU in South Bend, Indiana.

She said her daughter was an amazing woman with children who were just as sweet.

"There's no words (to describe) how she was. God didn't invent that word. She was amazing. She would give her shirt off her back for anybody and everybody," Nikki Jones said.

She said she was suspicious and knew something was wrong before her son-in-law's arrest.

No one had seen her daughter or the children for weeks, even though they were never reported missing. Nikki Jones said text messages she received were her first clue something was wrong.

"The texts to me got weirder and weirder, like, 'Well, that's not Casei,'" Nikki Jones said.

Then, those texts stopped.

Sister: Something was wrong

Casei Jones' older sister, Sarah Gilbert, told News4Jax she also knew something was wrong long before deputies found her sister's body in Michael Jones' van after he crashed Sunday night near Hickox, Georgia.

"We had not seen her for weeks, but we were getting messages," Gilbert said. "We had received messages that she was sick, that her phone was messed up."

Gilbert said her birthday passed 10 days ago without a word from her sister. Then Casei didn't post anything for her own son's birthday.

"I don't care hurricane or not, she would have posted something," Gilbert said. "She lived and breathed those babies. She would have never let that happen. That's when we knew for sure something was wrong."

The reality was far worse than what Gilbert could have imagined. Not only was her sister dead, but the next day, her four children -- all age 10 or under -- were found buried in the woods.

"Finding out he was possibly involved to me was a shock. I didn't expect that," Gilbert said. "They had normal everyday marital spats, but nothing that would be like, 'Get your children and move into my home,'" Gilbert said. "I don't know what could have possibly gone through his head at all."

Gilbert said the couple married on Halloween in 2017. The two older children -- Cameron, 10, and Preston, 5,-- were from Casei's previous marriage. Michael Jones was the father of Mercalli, 2, and 1-year-old Aiyana.

Gilbert, who lives in Indiana, has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to get to Florida. The family is also warning people about a fake GoFundMe account set up in Casei's name to raise $50,000. The fake campaign has been shut down.

Anyone who would like to help the family can find their campaign here: GoFundMe for Casei Jones' family

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