Family speaks out after authorities find man dead in Paint Rock River

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. — Mike Partain is devastated to know that his cousin, Anthony Jones, is no longer alive. According to Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning, officials found Anthony's body behind a New Hope property on Scott Branch Road in the Paint Rock River.  "He's more than a cousin, he is a friend and a brother," Partain explained.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office said Anthony's son, Eric Ray Jones, confessed to killing his father. "You would never think a family member would do something like that. I'm not here to judge Eric, although I don't understand what could push somebody to do that," said Partain. "They had their issues. I never in my life, in my wildest dreams, thought that it would come to this."

Deputies said Eric led them to the property on Scott Branch Road. There they found an unfinished building Partain said Anthony was planning to use as a retirement place. "It took him a while. He did a lot of hard work cleaning the place up and building this little cabin. He loved this place," Partain said.

The cabin under construction sits on a hill near the Paint Rock River. "As kids, we always went down there to fish, ride our motorcycles. He had always talked about wanting to live on the water," Partain said.

The image of Anthony's body in the water is hard for Eric to come to terms with. "I wish I could have done something better or find him sooner so he wouldn't have to have been in that water that long. It just keeps running through my mind just seeing a picture of him in that water," Partain said.

Partain said Anthony was the kind of guy that would do anything for anyone and that he will be missed. "You can go around this whole community and they will tell you the same thing I did," Partain explained.

Anthony leaves behind grandchildren who, Partain says, he wanted to spend more time with.

Eric Ray Jones is currently at the Madison County Jail being held on a $76,000 bond. Deputies have not released the official motive for the murder or where it took place.