A South Carolina man has been arrested after he confessed to killing his five children and later dumping their bodies in garbage bags in rural Alabama, authorities said Tuesday. The father, who was detained on Saturday, reportedly led law enforcement officers to the bodies, ending a six-day search for the missing children.
Timothy Ray Jones Jr., 32, was taken into custody on Saturday after he was stopped at a checkpoint near Raleigh, Mississippi, on suspicion of driving under the influence. An officer reportedly detected "an odor of chemicals" coming from his vehicle and also found blood stains and body fluids. During a background check, it was reportedly discovered that he was wanted in South Carolina in a case "regarding a welfare concern of his children." The mother of the children, who were between the ages of 1 and 8 years, is divorced from Jones and had reportedly lodged a missing complaint in Lexington County on Sept. 3.
"The seriousness of this violent crime is unconscionable," Albert Santa Cruz, Mississippi's public safety commissioner, said, according to CNN.
Sheriff Charlie Crumpton of Smith County, Mississippi, where Jones is being held, reportedly said that the bodies were found in a decomposed condition and in individual plastic bags. But, officials have not released details on how the children had died.
"Neighbors told deputies that the children's father said he was moving with his children from his home near Lexington to another state," authorities reportedly said.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation reportedly said that Jones is currently awaiting extradition to South Carolina.