A missing Florida mother and her four children were believed to have been found dead after going missing for weeks, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Casei Jones, 32, and her children were seen approximately six weeks ago in Ocala, Florida, said the office in a statement.
Police said her family reported them missing on the night of Sept. 14, officials said.
Officials believe the children are Cameron Bowers, 10; Preston Bowers, 5; Mercalli Jones, 2; and Aiyana Jones, 1, who were last seen in the Ocala area.
“Detectives have confirmed that they have located the remains of four children in Brantley County, Georgia,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post on Monday afternoon, adding that they “believe the remains may be those” of the missing children.
Sheriff Billy Woods told CNN: “True evil poked its head up here in Marion County. That’s about the only best way to describe it.”
The finding came hours after the body of Jones was found in Brantley County.
Detectives have named Jones’ husband, Michael Wayne Jones Jr., as a person of interest in the case.
His wife’s remains were found in a vehicle that he was driving.
Jones “later led detectives to the remains of four children,” the sheriff’s office said. “Although the remains have not been positively identified, detectives believe they are the remains of the four missing children.”
Officials now suspect that he murdered the victims at their home in Marion County and stored the bodies in his home for several weeks before taking them to Brantley County, which is located about 150 miles north of their home.
A warrant was issued for Jones’ arrest for second-degree murder charges, but more charges might be pending, officials said.
Deputies said that Jones might be driving a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica with the Florida license plate 91SEJ, WCTV reported.
Anyone with information about the case can call the Marion County Sheriff’s Office at 372-732-9111.
Facts About Crime in the United States
Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (pdf).
The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.
The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.
The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.
While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.