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Bodies of missing children found in Wilcox County

Multiple law enforcement agencies from Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigations took part in Tuesday’s search, which covered a 50-mile area from Butler County to Wilcox County. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

Multiple law enforcement agencies from Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigations took part in Tuesday’s search, which covered a 50-mile area from Butler County to Wilcox County. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

By Andy Brown
The Greenville Advocate

The bodies of five children reported missing in South Carolina were found Tuesday in Wilcox County.

Alabama State Trooper spokesman Sgt. Steve Jarrett said the bodies were discovered shortly after 3 p.m. on a dirt road off Alabama Hwy. 10 near the Oak Hill community. The father of the children, Timothy Ray Jones, Jr., of Lexington, S.C., led authorities to the site where the children were found.

Smith County (Miss.) Sheriff’s Office officials say that Jones confessed to killing the children after he was arrested on at a driver’s license checkpoint Sept. 6 in Raleigh, Miss.

Timothy Ray Jones, Jr.

Timothy Ray Jones, Jr.

Smith County Sheriff Charlie Crumpton says Jones appeared to be under the influence when he was stopped. When officers ran Jones tags after his arrest, they learned of a missing person report that had been filed for the children.

According to authorities in South Carolina, the children were reported missing by their mother on Sept. 3 and were last seen with their father.

Jarrett said it is still too early in the investigation to speculate on how the children, who ranged in age from one to eight, were killed. Authorities say a motive for the murders has yet to be determined.

Wilcox County District Attorney Michael Jackson said he has been in communication with the district attorney in Lexington and the two agreed that Jones should be charged for the crimes in South Carolina. He said it is believed that the children were killed in South Carolina before being transported to Alabama.

“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.”

Multiple law enforcement agencies from Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigations took part in Tuesday’s search, which covered a 50-mile area from Butler County to Wilcox County.

The bodies of the children are children are being returned to Lexington County, S.C., for autopsies and to be positively identified.