He leads cops to kids' bodies

He leads cops to kids' bodies

An American man is suspected of killing his five children and burying them in garbage bags on a road, US media reported.

The suspect, 32-year-old Timothy Ray Jones from South Carolina, reportedly led police to the spot where his children lay buried, after he was held on a driving offence.

He was stopped on Saturday at a checkpoint in the southern state of Mississippi. He appeared to be driving under the influence of drugs, according to The State newspaper.

The divorced man, who shares custody with the children's mother, was detained after police found his name on a list compiled by the National Crime Information Center, AFP reported.

His ex-wife had reported him and the children missing on Sept 3 after she failed to get in touch with them, the newspaper said.

Jones led police to the site where the children were buried, in the neighbouring state of Alabama.

A deputy, who "had been around long enough to know the smell of death", spotted bleach, blood and children's clothes in his Cadillac Escalade.

"The children were decomposed and were found in individual plastic garbage bags," Sheriff Charlie Crumpton of Smith County in Mississippi was quoted as saying.

It was not immediately known how the children died.

"I'm a father-of-two, and I can't imagine what goes through a man's head when he does this. It was a horrible, horrible crime," Sheriff Crumpton said.

MESSY

News reports said that Jones had a messy divorce from the children's mother last year because she was reportedly having an affair with the neighbour.

Two years ago, she moved in with a neighbour and Jones moved away with the children, said a neighbour.

Jones, whom officials believe acted alone, will be charged with five counts of murder.

Authorities think all five children - aged one, two, six, seven and eight - were killed at the same time but gave no other details.

A therapist called Jones "highly intelligent" and a "responsible father", Mail Online reported.

The case has unfolded over the past two weeks, covering five states and about 1,100km in what the sheriff called a "logistical nightmare".

Jones' father, Mr Timothy Jones Sr, said the family's hearts are broken, and he called his son a loving dad.

"We do not have all the answers and we may never have them. But anyone who knows Little Tim will agree that he is not the animal he will be portrayed as through the media," he said.

The children's mother is in shock and distraught, the police said.


This article was first published on Sept 11, 2014.
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