On September 3, 2014 five children were reported missing by their mother in South Carolina after they did not return home with their father, and they have been found dead in Alabama. Tim Jones Jr. was arrested on unrelated charges in Mississippi, confessed to the crime, and told police where to find the bodies of the missing children.
Charges are being filed against the father in South Carolina where the bodies will be returned to their mother for burial, after a full investigation. Wilcox County in Alabama is where the bodies were dumped and buried along a highway, and police have confirmed they are the missing children, according to the Sheriff of Butler County.
The children range in age from one to eight. Jones led police to the individual plastic bags that were buried off of Highway 10. He and the mother of the kids are divorced; she explained to police upon filing a report that the children were indeed missing and this had happened before but the children were returned unharmed. This time however, the suspected killer told neighbors that he and the kids were moving out-of-state, which set off alarm bells with the mother.
Jones was pulled over at a police check point in Mississippi where he was found to be under the influence of alcohol. When the vehicles tags were run, it came up on the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) website. Drugs and drug paraphernalia were found in the vehicle, at which time an investigation began. Jones was immediately arrested on due to drugs inside the car and the missing children’s report on the NCIC site. The vehicle also was found to have blood, and chemical substances that could be used in the cleaning up of blood. Upon his arrest and after being detained, he ultimately confessed to the tragic crime of killing his own children. Many mothers and fathers will be outraged at the thought of a parent taking the life of a child, even the thought of being under the influence of drugs and alcohol cannot excuse a crime of this nature.
The bodies of the missing children will be transported back home for positive ID, and full autopsies. Police were shocked at the heinous and tragic crime, but voiced the opinion that at least the mother would have closure. Lexington County detectives have charged Jones with neglect at this time, and expect additional warrants which will require him to face punishment in South Carolina courts.
Missing children and exploited children are heartbreaking stories and unfortunately all too common crimes, and family being involved makes it even harder for the police and investigators to understand. Those left behind to mourn the loss of life will have many questions, and the police in this case hope that at least knowing that her children have been found will help the mother to find closure in this very difficult time. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children continue to serve communities around the world to help bring our missing children home, working toward happy endings, instead of this heart breaking tragic end for one family.
by Kristi Cereska
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children