MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Months after a man accused of killing his wife and her four children was arrested, recently released video interviews show how he allegedly covered his tracks after the murders.
The videos released from the State Attorney’s Office show Michael Jones in custody in Georgia. He was arrested there on Sept. 16 after he crashed his car and told responding officers that the body of his dead wife, Casei Jones, was in the trunk, records show.
Authorities said Michael Jones later led them to the bodies of Cameron Bowers, 10; Preston Bowers, 5; Mercalli Jones, 2; and Aiyana Jones, 1.
During interviews with investigators in the days after his arrest, Jones explained how he used Casei Jones’ cellphone after her death on July 10.
“Yeah she had a phone and I had her phone for a while and I, um, you know, I would text and pretend to be Casei,” Michael Jones said.
He said he spoke with Casei Jones’ family and with the father of her children.
Marion County deputies said the four children were killed one by one in early August, right around the time that they were supposed to return to school.
Records show Michael Jones also lied to his ex-wife when he stayed with her during Hurricane Dorian.
“I would tell her that Casei and I are separated and she’s with her mom right now,” Michael Jones said.
Authorities said all five bodies were in Michael Jones’ van when he was staying with his ex-wife but he never told her what happened.
“Yeah, I smelled it. I put moth balls in there. (The container) broke open and there was some of her stuff or whatever. It broke open and there was a weird smell,” Michael Jones said. “Obviously it was decaying so I believe (my ex-wife) asked me, ‘What’s that smell?’”
He said he put moth balls in the van to cover the smell.
At some point, Michael Jones’ ex-wife learned that he was wanted for questioning.
“She woke me up early in the morning asking me, ‘Is there any reason why Marion County was looking for you?’ and I just tried to spin stuff, spin stuff and I was like, ‘Let me just get on the road,’” Michael Jones said.
Records show Michael Jones left a voicemail for one of the detectives on the case after that.
“Yes, hi, this is Michael Jones. I’ve heard through the grapevine you are trying to contact my wife and I. I am not in town right now as far as in Marion County. I can be there late this evening, more likely early in the morning, come to the office and speak with you and if you can give me a detailed message whereabouts that is, as well as your office, we can be there, uh, as early as 9 o’clock that morning,” Michael Jones said in the voicemail.
Crime scene photos show Michael Jones' van crashed in Georgia.
Rather than driving from Jacksonville to Marion County, Michael Jones instead headed north toward Georgia.
“All I had was 40 bucks when I left. So (I) took the money from the bank and drove. I figured I’d get across the border in Georgia, sit at a rest stop and think until people came after me,” Michael Jones said.
He explained how the crash happened.
“Like I said, after I got out of the woods driving or whatever, the GPS is rerouting me and I was messing with the GPS and it’s touch screen. I was moving this way, moving this way and I swerved off the road once and was like, ‘Pay attention.’ I swerved off the road again and that was it. I just kept going down and I slammed into that, that was it," Michael Jones said.
Deputies said Michael Jones beat Casei Jones with a baseball bat and strangled the four children. He’s accused of committing the murders at the couple’s Marion County home then later disposing of the bodies in Georgia.
He’s facing a second-degree murder charge in connection with his wife’s death and four first-degree murder charges in connection with the deaths of the four children.