Action News Jax obtained a 142-page report detailing the events leading up to suspect Michael Jones' confession to the murders of his wife, Casei Jones, and her four children, Cameron Bowers, Preston Bowers, Mercalli Jones and Aiyana Jones.
Here is a timeline of events based on the information documented in the incident report.
- Michael Jones killed Casei Jones with a metal baseball bat, according to an interview with Michael Jones and detectives.
Michael Jones told detectives that Casei Jones accused him of cheating and the two got into an altercation. Michael Jones said they began yelling at each other when Casei began to push him with a child's metal baseball bat. Michael Jones said he then took the bat from her and hit her repeatedly in the head until she was dead. He said he then put her body into a plastic tote and stored it in the closet. He said he then cleaned up all the blood as best he could. He said that all four children were asleep in the house.
- Sarah Jones, Michael Jones' ex-wife, says Michael Jones watched her three children in Marion County during this time. Sarah Jones said her kids told her that no one else was at the home during this time. (Sarah Jones said Michael Jones came to Jacksonville and picked up her kids the following weekends to help watch them while she worked.)
- Richard Bowers, Cameron and Preston Bowers' biological dad, picked up his boys from Michael Jones. The boys spent around two-weeks with their dad.
- Nikki Jones received a text from Casei Jones' phone asking if she could watch the two children Mercalli and Aiyana Jones. The children ended up staying with her for around 2 weeks.
- Bowers dropped his sons off with Michael Jones. This was the last he heard from his son's according to the report.
- Michael Jones told detectives he killed both boys between these days. Here is the writeup from the report:
The defendant then stated that some time before school was about to start, he went into his stepson's room and pulled Cameron off of the bed onto the floor and began strangling him with his hands around the child's neck. He stated he put his knee into the chest of the child as well to keep him from being able to breathe. He advised when he went into the room, his intention was to kill him. He stated, "everything was on him". While he was killing Cameron, Preston was sleeping in the bed right next door. He then placed Cameron's body in a suitcase.
The next night, he stated he decided he was going to kill Preston. He stated his hands were sore and hurt from the struggle with strangling Cameron and it "popped into his head" that he had zip ties in the house. He stated he grabbed a zip tie and went into the room and grabbed Preston off of the bed and put the zip tie around his neck and pulled it tight. He then carried the boy into the bathroom, where he already had the water running in the tub and proceeded to drown the boy in the running water. He did not have a stopper for the drain, so he shoved a rag in the drain to keep some water contained in the tub to help with the drowning. Once Preston died, he placed him in plastic garbage bags and left him in the bathroom initially.
He used kitty litter at some point to help soak up the bodily fluids that came from the decaying bodies that he kept in the residence for several weeks.
- Nikki Jones said Michael Jones came and picked up Mercalli and Aiyana Jones.
- A woman and her husband went to the house in Summerfield to pick up two twin mattresses they purchased from Michael Jones from the Facebook Market Place for $50. They couple said the mattresses smelled like death and that Michael Jones' behavior was odd.
- Richard Bowers reached out to Casei Jones to wish his son, Preston, a happy birthday and never heard back.
- The property owner for the Summerfield home initiated an eviction process for the Jones'.
- Sarah Jones said that she saw Preston Bowers, Mercalli Jones and Aiyana Jones with Michael Jones. They all came to her house in Jacksonville to help watch her kids while she worked. They stayed through the weekend,
Sarah Jones said Micheal Jones took Preston Bowers, Mercalli Jones and Aiyana Jones back home to Summerfield.
A Facebook post was made on Casei Jones' Facebook page.
- Michael Jones said he killed both his daughters. Michael Jones said he stayed at the home in Summerfield until the fifth day of the eviction process. (Eviction process started August 23, 2019) He said he then loaded up the two girls and drove to the city hall in Belleview, Florida.
Here is the write up from the report:
He described looking over at the police department nearby trying to get up the nerve to go turn himself in or hoping someone would arrest him. At some point, he decided to break Casei's phone, which he still had in his possession, and he threw it in a dumpster across the street from Belleview city hall. He stated he drove around for a while, then went home and decided to kill the girls. He advised he filled the bathtub and picked up Mercalli, carried her into the bathroom, and held her under water until she was dead. He then repeated the process for Aiyana. He placed both girls into a plastic tote bin together.
- Sarah Jones said Michael Jones came to her house and stayed with her and her kids and continued staying there until September 10, 2019.
- Michael Jones told detectives that around Labor Day weekend he put all the bodies in the van and drove to Jacksonville to stay with his ex-wife Sarah Jones. He stayed with Sarah through Hurricane Dorian. He said all five bodies were in the van since September 1, 2019.
- Around 2 weeks prior to Nikki Jones requesting well-being check, neighbor Johnny Murphy was approached by a property manager to walk through the Summerfield residence with him because of an odd smell. Murphy said the residence was still full of furniture, personal items and photographs. There was an awful smell he described as "something dead."
- Nikki Jones called the Marion County Sheriff's Office to request a well-being check for Casei Jones.
Officers conducted well-being check for Casei Jones.
Deputies said that the house was empty and looked to have been recently cleaned when they got there. There was the smell of decomposition according to police and there were cleaning products by the door. Deputies noticed possible new floors and baseboards may have been installed. The owner then asked the deputies to leave and so the deputies left.
- Detectives spoke with Michael Jones' ex-wife Sarah Jones who admits she previously lied to detectives about seeing Casei Jones on September 13, 2019.
Detectives learn the missing family's van was called in from Brantley County, Georgia. Deputies in Brantley were reporting that Michael Jones was there with the van and that he told responding officers that he killed his wife and that her body was in the van. He also confessed to killing the four missing children and hiding their bodies near-by in the woods.
Deputies then drove to the wooded area and found the children's bodies.
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- A warrant to search the minivan was obtained and investigators searched the vehicle.
- The Medical Examiner performed autopsies for the five bodies.
Autopsy write up from Deputy who witnessed the autopsies performed by the ME:
Doctor Edmund Donoghue performed the autopsies on victims Casei Jones and Cameron Bowers. Doctor Joni Skipper performed the autopsies on victims Preston Bowers, Mercalli Jones, and Aiyana Jones.
Victim Cameron Bowers's remains were inside of a red suitcase, which had been inside of a gray, plastic tote. Victim Cameron did have a broken mandible, but I do not believe there was any additional trauma noted. There was a towel stuffed into victim Cameron's mouth.
Victim Preston Bowers's remains were inside a plastic tote. When the lid was removed from the tote, I observed a zip tie was tightened around his neck.
Victims Mercalli and Aiyana Jones's remains were both located inside a single, small, plastic tote.
Inside the tote with the two girls was a baby bottle with Aiyana's name on it and a small, pink pair of girls' sandals.
Victim Casei Jones had originally been located inside of a plastic tote in the defendant's vehicle. She had been removed from the tote at the accident scene and transported to the medical examiner's office in a body bag.
An area rug and a black and white shower curtain were around victim Casei. The front of Casei Jones's skull/face was crushed as if she had been struck with a blunt object. I did not observe any other trauma to her body.
- The woman told investigators about buying the mattresses from Michael Jones back in August.
- The boys' dad returned from his vacation out of the country and spoke with detectives.
October 8, 2019 - Michael Jones was charged with the homicides of all four children. He was already facing charges in the death of his wife Casei Jones, whose body was found in his van.
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