A Kansas City, Kan., woman accused in the child-abuse death of her 7-year-old stepson made her first court appearance Monday morning.
Heather Jones and her husband, Michael A. Jones, are charged in Wyandotte County District Court with first-degree felony murder and child abuse in the death of the boy, whom authorities are calling A.J.
Family members have identified him as Adrian Jones. A civil paternity case filed by state officials last year in Wyandotte County lists Adrian Jones as a son of Michael Jones.
Kansas City, Kan., police said he has been missing for several months, and they believe that human remains found at the Jones residence last month are his. They are continuing to work to identify the remains.
Heather Jones, 29, was charged Friday and is being held in the Wyandotte County Jail with bond set at $5 million.
She appeared Monday via closed-circuit camera. District Judge Robert Serra read the charges to her and set her next court appearance for Dec. 22. She was not required to enter a plea.
Michael Jones, 44, was arrested last month after a domestic disturbance and was charged with child abuse, aggravated assault and aggravated battery. Prosecutors added a first-degree felony murder charge against him on Friday. His bond is set at $10 million. His next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.
The investigation began the day before Thanksgiving when police were called to the area of the Jones residence in the 5200 block of North 99th Street on an armed disturbance.
After learning that Adrian had been missing for “some time,” they obtained a search warrant and the next day discovered the human remains in a barn on the 99th Street property.
Heather Jones’ father later told The Star that his daughter called him on Thanksgiving and allegedly told him that her husband had killed the boy and fed his body to pigs on the property.
Authorities have not verified the allegation involving pigs, but Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerry Gorman described the case as “one of the worst things” that police investigators say they had ever seen. Gorman said the $10 million bond was the highest he had ever requested in his 34 years as a prosecutor.
The Joneses operated a bail bonding business. Six other children who had been living with them are in protective custody. Four are the biological children of Heather and Michael Jones, her father said. The other two are Michael Jones’ children from a previous relationship.
Michael Jones is the listed agent for the bail bonding business, and the Kansas insurance commissioner has filed an order suspending his license because of the criminal allegations filed in the case, according to Insurance Commission records.