Deputies: Marion County man strangled, drowned children after killing wife

The Marion County husband accused of murdering his wife, two children and two step-children is being held without bond at the Marion County Jail.

On Tuesday morning, a Marion County judge denied Michael Jones Jr. bond on the four, first-degree premeditated homicide charges he faces in the children's deaths.

Detectives said Jones bludgeoned his wife Casei to death with a baseball bat during an argument at their Summerfield home on July 10. Detectives said the next day Jones strangled his two step-children, Cameron Bowers, 10, and Preston Bowers, 5, to death. Two weeks later he allegedly drowned his two youngest children, Mercalli Jones, 2, and Aiyana Jones, 1 year old.

Sergeant Paul Bloom with the Marion County Sheriff's Office said detectives asked Jones why he allegedly killed the children.

"But for the children we've asked him that, was it because you were afraid they were going to say something, were you afraid they were going to do something or was it because they had an attachment in his mind to their mother," Sgt. Bloom said. "His answer, frankly, was a little bit of both. That's what he told us."

Investigators said Jones kept the bodies in the home for several weeks and then moved them to his van where he stored them for two weeks. Detectives said in September Jones drove the remains to Brantley County, Georgia where he disposed of the children's bodies. Georgia officers arrested Jones after he got into a car crash and found his wife's body in the van with him. Detectives said Jones eventually led them to the children's remains.

Officials called Jones and his actions evil.

"To me it says, reaches deep in his psyche, we kind of get a good glimpse of what he's made up of and I can just tell you, from what we see already, just pretty much pure evil," Sgt. Bloom said.

Jones is currently in the Marion County jail, previously charged with second degree homicide in his wife's death. Officials said he is on suicide watch. He is due back in court on Oct. 22 and Nov. 17 to be arraigned for the murder charges for his wife and children, respectively.