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South Carolina father accused of killing 5 children, dumping bodies in Alabama

(CNN) -- Timothy Jones Jr. told neighbors in South Carolina last week that he was moving his children from their home near Lexington to another state.

On Wednesday, the father of five was being held in a Mississippi jail in connection with the deaths of his children, ages 1 to 8, authorities said.

It's still unclear how or why Jones allegedly killed his children, but acting Sheriff Lewis McCarty of Lexington County told reporters Wednesday that Jones drove for several days through three states with their decomposing bodies in the trunk of his car.

It is believed he killed the children at the same time, and that the crime happened in Lexington County, McCarty said.

When Jones, 32, was picked up Saturday at a police checkpoint in Mississippi, he seemed "very strange, maybe somewhat disoriented, a little bit on the violent side," McCarty said. In the car, police found "cleaning material, they saw blood, they saw children's clothing but no children."

McCarty said Jones, who was in possession of synthetic marijuana and a drug called "bath salts," faces five counts of murder when he's returned to South Carolina.

The sheriff said Jones led investigators in Alabama to the trash-bag-wrapped remains believed to be those of his children.

The remains have been returned to South Carolina, where autopsies will be performed to determine how the children died.

"I'm a father and I'm a grandfather and in all of my years of law enforcement I have never seen a case like this," McCarty said. "We all see things in our careers that have an impact. This case has impacted every person ... who had anything at all to do with it."

Late Tuesday, Albert Santa Cruz, Mississippi's public safety commissioner, called the crime "unconscionable."

Child welfare investigation 

The five children killed and found dumped in Alabama Tuesday. (RICHARD SHIRO, AP

The five children killed and found dumped in Alabama Tuesday. (RICHARD SHIRO, AP

Child welfare authorities said they had received an abuse complaint involving the children on August 7 but interviews with Jones, the children and neighbors determined there was no imminent danger, said Jackie Swindler, a representative of the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

"DSS did not see any visible signs of abuse," he said.

Authorities said Jones picked up the children at school and daycare on August 28. According to an affidavit for the child endangerment charges against him, he admitted that he forced the five children out of his car that day near a Wal-Mart store in Lexington County. Parts of the affidavit are blacked out.

The children's mother, who shared custody of the children with her ex-husband, reported them missing on September 3 after not being able to contact Jones.

He was being held in Smith County, Mississippi, on drug and child endangerment charges and is awaiting extradition to South Carolina for prosecution.

A grisly discovery

The children's remains were discovered off a dirt road in Wilcox County, not far from Camden, said Sgt. Steve Jarrett of the Alabama Department of Public Safety.

A multistate search for the children and their father involved the FBI and state law enforcement agencies. When Jones was arrested Saturday in Mississippi, a check of the National Criminal Information Center found he was wanted in South Carolina.


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14 comments

  • Ray

    that is horrible. That was one demented father for sure to kill his own children. Fortunately Alabama is a death penalty state. I would gladly sit him in the electric chair and pull the switch myself if given the opportunity..

  • mamac

    I don’t know how anyone could do this.. A person has to be in a low low low place where demons are and they can see the devil his self. I would hate to be in that spot never want to be there.At least the kids went to heaven. This is so sad and the mom oh my. I think loosing one child would be hard but 5…All at the same time. The mother is going to have to be lifted up in prayer..

  • John Holmes

    Very sad, this is horrible. I’m curious to know what the Family Court has to say about this. I wonder if this dirtbag couldn’t afford to pay child support for his kids or if he was trying to get revenge against the mother for a bad marriage/bitter divorce? If the father has disappeared with the kids before, why was something not done about it previously? Just because they had been found safe before does not mean it’s nothing to overlook. Bless the 5 lost children.

  • shantee

    JESUS…… im so hurt…. Lord have mercy! ! Father. …. im speechless. .. to lose all your kids at once (to lose a child period)! !! JESUS JESUS JESUS

  • Ray

    Well, look at this scumbag, he is what Evil looks like incarnate. It doesnt get any worse than that.. Someone who would kill their own children is one messed up person who deserves the most the states can throw at him. He needs to be dropped off in Iraq to let the ISSIS folks deal with him. I dont think anyone woudl shed a tear if one of them beheaded that monster…

  • jones

    People like this don’t even deserve the death penalty. They just need to be put in 6 by 9 cell with nothing but a chair. Sit there all day and all night with nothing to eat but bread an water till they die.

  • soldier

    the article says he had in his possession drugs man made synthetic marijuanna and bath salts. remember it was bath salts that made another guy somewhere else turn into a zombie like cannabal where he attacked somebody and tried to eat them alive. these bath salts are bad bad stuff that makes the mind crazy and opens people up to demonic possession.

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