5 children, reported missing, found dead in Alabama; Father detained
Authorities in Mississippi are holding a father of five in the deaths of his children, ages 1 to 8, the state’s Department of Public Safety said Tuesday evening.
“The seriousness of this violent crime is unconscionable,” said Albert Santa Cruz, Mississippi’s public safety Commissioner.
Timothy Jones, Jr. is being held in Smith County on child endangerment charges and is awaiting extradition to South Carolina for prosecution.
The children, reported missing from South Carolina last week, were found dead in Alabama on Tuesday, authorities said.
Their remains were discovered in Wilcox County, Alabama, said Sheriff Kenny Harden of neighboring Butler County.
Their mother reported the children and their father missing from their Lexington County, South Carolina, home last Wednesday, according to Lewis McCarty, sheriff for that county.
Their father was located in Mississippi and detained on Saturday on charges unrelated to their disappearance, McCarty said.
No other details were immediately available about how the children died.
Their parents were divorced and Jones had primary custody.
A multi-state search, involving the FBI and state law enforcement agencies, for the children and their father was launched after the mother told sheriff’s investigators that she has been unable to contact her former husband.
“Neighbors told deputies that the children’s father said he was moving with his children from his home near Lexington to another state,” the Lexington County sheriff said.
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