The case of a missing 7-year-old boy and human remains found last week in a Wyandotte County barn “is one of the worst things” police investigators have ever seen, District Attorney Jerome A. Gorman said Monday.
Gorman said at a news conference that he expects more charges to be filed later against Michael A. Jones, who is being held in jail on child abuse and other charges in the case, which started last Wednesday with a call to police about a domestic disturbance.
Investigators learned that Jones had a 7-year-old son who had been missing for an extended period of time. Investigators are referring to the boy only as A.J.
“From there, it escalated into a much larger investigation,” Gorman said.
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Human remains were found Thursday in a barn at Jones’ last known address in the 5200 block of North 99th Street.
Gorman declined to elaborate about the condition of the remains or comment on news reports that pigs had eaten the body, but Gorman said he asked the court to set bond at $10 million, the highest he has ever known in 34 years as a prosecutor.
Jones is the owner of a bail bonding business, but he is not approved to operate in Wyandotte County.
Gorman recalled a case in which Marc Sappington was convicted of first-degree murder in the April 2001 deaths of three friends. Sappington said he killed his friends because voices commanded him to cannibalize them. Sappington dismembered one victim and froze the body parts.
“This is probably the worst I’ve seen since then,” Gorman said of the case against Jones.
Jones made his first appearance Monday in Wyandotte County District Court, where he is charged with abuse of a child between May 1 and Sept. 28. He also is charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault. He was arrested Wednesday after a report of an armed disturbance near 99th Street and Hutton Road.
The battery and assault charges relate to Jones’ wife, Heather Jones, 29. Gorman said six girls, ranging in age from younger than 2 to 10 years old, were taken from the home and placed in protective custody.
“These children are safe, and they will be under the jurisdiction of the court for some time,” he said.
Gorman said child-welfare agencies in other Kansas counties and in other states had contact with the family before, but he did not know the details. Gorman said he did not think the family had lived in Wyandotte County long.
Gorman said he expected the child abuse charge against Jones to be “the tip of the iceberg.”
“I don’t believe you’ve seen the end of charges yet,” he said.
The prosecutor’s office on Friday obtained a warrant signed by a judge to hold Jones through the weekend. The charges were formally filed Monday morning.
In the brief court appearance, District Court Judge Timothy Dupree asked Jones how he was doing.
“I’m good, your honor,” Jones replied.
The judge went through the charges and asked Jones if he understood them. He said he did, and asked about his bond. Dupree said that could not be lowered in that hearing and could be taken up at a future date. Jones signed several documents and took a copy of the charges with him back to jail.
Jones’ next court date is Dec. 8.
The Star’s Robert A. Cronkleton contributed to this report.