A man is suspected of killing his five children and then driving for hours before dumping their bodies, wrapped in individual garbage bags, on a rural dirt road, authorities said.
Timothy Ray Jones Jr., 32, led investigators to the site where the bodies of the children were found, off a two-lane highway, said Alabama Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Steve Jarrett on Tuesday.
Jones, of South Carolina, has been charged with child neglect and police expect to lodge additional charges against him in connection with the children’s deaths, authorities in South Carolina and Mississippi said.
The children ranged from 1 to 8 years old and were reported missing by their mother on Sept. 3, authorities said.
Jones is suspected of killing the children in South Carolina before bringing their bodies to Alabama, Wilcox County, Alabama, District Attorney Michael Jackson told The Associated Press.
“This is a very tragic situation,” Jackson said. “These kids’ lives were snuffed out before they had a chance to enjoy life. Justice will be served.”
Police have not released details on how the children died. Lexington County Coroner Earl Wells was arranging for the children’s bodies to be taken back to South Carolina for autopsies and identification Tuesday night, sheriff’s officials said.
Jones was being held in Smith County, Mississippi, awaiting extradition to South Carolina, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said in a news release.
Jones was detained in Smith County on Saturday after being stopped at a motor vehicle checkpoint near Raleigh, Mississippi, and charged with drunken driving, Smith County Sheriff Charlie Crumpton said in a news release.
Crumpton said Jones became agitated when a deputy questioned him about an odor of chemicals coming from the Cadillac Escalade he was driving. The deputy found what were believed to be chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine and a substance believed to be the street drug Spice, a form of synthetic marijuana, Crumpton said. A sheriff’s office investigator was called and found what appeared to be bleach, muriatic acid, blood and possible body fluids, he said.
During a background check, police discovered that Jones was wanted in South Carolina “regarding a welfare concern of his children,” who were on a national missing persons list, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.