MARION COUNTY, Fla. — A Marion County man who investigators have accused of killing his wife and her four children and driving around with their dead bodies in his van for weeks was denied bond Thursday.
Michael Jones Jr., 38, was also placed on suicide watch during his first appearance.
"He is cooperating with the investigation, but this is a senseless act," Sgt. Paul Bloom with the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.
On Wednesday, Jones Jr., was transported back to Marion County from Georgia, where investigators say he was caught driving around with his wife's body in the car and then led deputies to bodies believed to be of her four children.
Marion County deputies said Jones allegedly murdered his wife Casei Jones and her four children -- two who were his -- in their Summerfield home six weeks ago. Deputies said Casei's family reported her missing Saturday, and deputies made contact with Jones Jr. Sunday after a single-vehicle crash more than 100 miles away in Georgia.
When deputies responded to the crash, Jones said they might as well put him in handcuffs because he had a dead body in the car.
When investigators searched the family’s Summerfield home, they said it was cleared out.
In the weeks after allegedly killing his family, they said Jones lived in a van with their decomposing bodies.
Jones walked out of the Sheriff’s Office Wednesday and was transported to the Marion County Jail where he could face charges for five murders.
“It was very hard to watch the video of him being transported. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to watch,” said Sarah Gilbert, Casei’s sister.
Casei’s sister told Channel 9 she feels torn. She feels hatred for Jones because of what he’s accused of doing, but she also feels sorry for him.
“I feel like I hope she went first so she didn’t have to see her babies suffer. Then, at the same time, I feel like I didn’t want the babies to have to see their mom,” Gilbert said.
Jones faced a Marion County judge Thursday morning, who denied him bond.
As of now, he is only charged with one count of second-degree murder for the death of his wife. Deputies said charges for the deaths of the children could come after their bodies are positively identified.
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