US & Canada

Timothy Ray Jones to be charged with killing five children

Timothy Ray Jones is seen in an undated picture provided by the Smith County Sheriff's Department in Smith County, Mississippi 9 September 2014 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Timothy Ray Jones was arrested in Mississippi on unrelated charges

A US father will be charged with murdering his five children and dumping them in another state, say police.

The bodies of Timothy Ray Jones's children were found buried near an Alabama highway after an all-day search, say local media.

Aged one to eight, they were reported missing a week ago in South Carolina when their mother said she could not get in contact with her ex-husband.

He is currently in Mississippi where he was arrested on unrelated charges.

The murder charges will be formally made when he is returned to South Carolina.

On Wednesday, acting Sheriff Lewis McCarty of Lexington County, South Carolina, said police believed that Jones had killed the five children at the same time.

He did not know why the children were killed.

Alabama Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt Steve Jarrett told a news conference on Tuesday Mr Jones had led investigators to the children's bodies.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The spot where the bodies were found is now a crime scene

Smith County, Mississippi, Sheriff Charlie Crumpton told reporters that Mr Jones was stopped at a safety checkpoint on Saturday and was determined to be driving under the influence of drugs,

A deputy found what were believed to be chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine and a substance believed to be the street drug spice, Mr Crumpton said.

Investigators also found what appeared to be bleach, hydrochloric acid, blood and possible body fluids inside the vehicle.

When officers ran his vehicle's identification through a national database, police discovered he was wanted in South Carolina "regarding a welfare concern of his children", who were on a national missing persons list.

Mr Jones had told neighbours in South Carolina he was preparing to move out of the state with the children, local media report.

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