Florida mother of 4 was beaten to death baseball bat, deputies say

Children's cause of death still not released

Authorities say a missing Florida mother and her four children were found dead in Georgia.

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida mother who was found dead along with her four children weeks after they were last seen was beaten to death with a baseball bat by her husband, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

An affidavit for Michael Jones, 38, states that deputies went to the Summerfield home he shared with his wife, Casei Jones, and her four children --  Cameron Bowers, 10; Preston Bowers, 5; Mercalli Jones, 2; and Aiyana Jones, 1 -- on Sept. 14 after Casei Jones' mother reported that she had not seen her daughter for weeks and she suspected Michael Jones had done something to them.

The home was vacant and smelled of decomposition, the report said. At that point, Casei Jones and her four children were reported missing.

Deputies said that as they were searching the home, they were contacted by authorities in Georgia, who said Michael Jones was involved in a single-vehicle crash and his wife was dead inside his vehicle. Michael Jones then told investigators where to find the bodies of t he children, according to authorities.

During an interview with investigators, Michael Jones said he and his wife were arguing at their home on July 10 when she got a baseball bat, according to the affidavit. Michael Jones took the bat from her and used it to beat her death, records show.

Authorities said Michael Jones admitted to dumping the bodies of the four children in Charlton County, Georgia prior to the crash. The cause of deaths of the children has not been released.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said he believes Michael Jones murdered all five family members at the home and stored their bodies there and in his van for weeks before driving them to Georgia.

Sarah Jones said her ex-husband visited her in Jacksonville on Sept. 14. Michael Jones told her that he and Casei Jones were likely going to get a divorce.

"When he left here, the intention was supposed to be that he was going to Marion County to talk to them about it," Sarah Jones said.

Family members said although they hadn't seen Casei Jones or her children for six weeks, someone was responding to text messages from her phone. Deputies said they were likely texting with Michael Jones during that time.

Right now, Michael Jones is being held at the Marion County Jail on a second-degree murder charge in connection with his wife's death. He has entered a plea of not guilty.

Officials said it's likely that he will face more charges.