Judge denies bail for Marion County man accused of killing wife, 4 children

Michael Jones, 38, placed on suicide watch

By Mark Lehman - Reporter

MARION COUNTY, Fla. - A judge denied bail Thursday for a Marion County man arrested after his wife and her four children were found dead in Georgia.

Michael Jones, 38, said little during the initial appearance at the Marion County Jail.  Officials said the high-priority inmate has received additional supervision after he was brought back to Florida.

"It was recommended to us to place him on suicide watch," Sgt. Paul Bloom said.  "So, based on the psychiatrist recommendation, that's what we are doing."

Michael Jones was arrested Monday south of Hickox, Georgia, after he was involved in a car crash and admitted that the body of his wife, Casei Jones, was in the vehicle, according to authorities.

Bloom said investigators think Michael Jones was in the process of finding a place to dump Casei Jones body when he crashed.

Casei Jones was reported missing Saturday along with her four children: Cameron Bowers, 10; Preston Bowers, 5; Mercalli Jones, 2; and Aiyana Jones, 1. Family members said they hadn't seen Casei Jones in six weeks but that someone was replying to text messages sent to her phone.

According to Bloom, investigators believe Jones killed the family five - six weeks ago and was driving around with all five bodies for the past two weeks.

After the crash, Michael Jones gave law enforcement officials information that they said led them to bodies believed to be those of the four children.

Deputies said they have determined the cause of death for all five victims, but the information would not be released until autopsies are completed. The bodies were so decomposed medical examiners are conducting DNA testing Thursday to positively identify them. The results may take awhile, Bloom said.

"This is one of the most heinous crimes in Marion County. We've never had a quintuple homicide," Bloom said. "We've never used those two words together."

Michael Jones is currently being held on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with his wife's death, but additional charges are pending. When Michael Jones is charged with the children's deaths he will have another first appearance.

An arraignment for the case has been scheduled for Oct. 22 at 9 a.m.

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