Authorities announced on Thursday, Sept. 11 that Timothy Ray Jones, Jr. will be charged with the murders of his five children, ages one through eight. Jones confessed after spending two days in jail.
The 32-year-old computer technician told neighbors he was taking his children out of their home in Lexington County, South Carolina to move to a different state. According to CNN, Jones then drove 700 miles before being stopped in Smith County, Mississippi for a traffic violation.
Jones was reportedly driving under the influence of alcohol, prompting authorities to search his car. Upon inspection, police found chemicals used to make “Spice,” a type of synthetic marijuana, as well as bleach and blood. Children’s clothes were also found.
After Jones confessed, he led authorities to the bodies. Authorities describe Jones’ confession as “calm.” The bodies were found highly decomposed and wrapped in garbage bags along a dirt road off of Alabama Highway 10.
According to CBS News, authorities are unsure of the motives of the murders or how they were committed. Autopsies have been scheduled to collect more information about the crime. The names of the children will not be released until after the autopsies are complete.
Acting Sheriff of Lexington County, Lewis McCarty, announced the charges, as well as more details of the crime. McCarty described him as “very strange, maybe somewhat disoriented, and a little on the violent side.” McCarty also stated that the children were all killed at the same time in Lexington County, although he did not provide any more information on how he knew that.
“I’m a father and I’m a grandfather. In all of my years of law enforcement, I have never seen a case like this,” McCarty continued. “We all see things in our careers that have an impact. This case has impacted every person who had anything at all to do with it.”
During a background check, police discovered that Jones was wanted in South Carolina “regarding the welfare of his children,” who were on a national missing persons list after their mother reported them missing on Sept. 3.
According to USA Today, the children’s mother has been notified, and is “in shock and distraught.” The parents had joint custody of the children, and Jones was supposed to bring the children to their mother the day they were killed. The mother reported her children missing after Jones did not return her calls, but an official Amber Alert was never posted because Jones had legal custody of the children.
Child welfare authorities said they received an abuse complaint involving at least one of the children on Aug. 7, but interviews with Jones, the children and neighbors determined there was no imminent danger, according to CNN.
The family of Jones is speaking out as well. Outside his home in Amory, Miss., Timothy Jones Sr., the suspect’s father, asked for privacy to “mourn the loss of our loved ones, not only our grandchildren, but our son as well.”
Jones’ trial will take place in the coming weeks. The public will be notified of more details once the court commences and autopsy results are made public.
Editor’s Note: Information from CNN and USA Today was used in this report.