Ryan Jones, of Augusta, is charged in the murders of his parents and brother. The announcement came Thursday afternoon from the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
According to investigators, another brother called asking for a welfare check on the family. When they arrived, investigators found large amounts of blood. In Hephzibah, the bodies of Roosevelt, Edna and Russell Jones were found burning in a field.
Investigators believe the murders happened at the Jones' home. Ballistics showed that the victims had been shot "at least once" and that the bullets were a match to a weapon belonging to Ryan Jones.
He was taken into custody and held for questioning. He now faces "3 counts of Murder and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime."
Here's the official release:
The Richmond County Sheriff Office has charged Ryan David Jones with 3 counts of Murder and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime in relation to the bodies discovered off of Matthew Ct. (Initial reports indicated that the Incident Location was Mickey Court, however, after verification from the County's GIS Site it was found that this unmarked street is Matthew Court). Ryan Jones was originally being held as a Person of Interest.
After a media release, Investigators received a phone call from Steve Jones, who requested the Sheriff's Office check on the welfare of his family at 3729 Pinnacle Place Drive, Hephzibah, GA 30815. Steve Jones advised he had no contact with his parents, Roosevelt and Edna Jones, or his brother Russell Jones since 05/20/2013. Deputies arrived at the residence and observed the family vehicles at the residence. Deputies forced entry into the residence per the request of the family and discovered large amounts of blood inside the residence.
After obtaining search warrants for the residence and reviewing the scene, it was the common consensus among experienced Violent Crimes Investigators that multiple murders had occurred within the residence. Crime Scene Investigators who had processed the original scene viewed photographs of Edna Jones, Roosevelt Jones, and Russell Jones located within the residence and found that the bodies discovered earlier had the same appearances of Roosevelt Jones, Russell Jones and Edna Jones.
During autopsies of the three bodies located in the fire it was determined that each victim had been shot at least once. Ballistics evidence recovered during autopsy and at the residence was later compared to a firearm belonging to Ryan Jones and recovered at the time he was taken into custody, proved to be a match.
We are still awaiting dental confirmation to officially identify the victims. However, based on the totality of the evidence collected thus far, interviews with family members, property and vehicle records; Investigators have no reason to believe that the bodies located off of Matthew Ct. are anyone other than the remains of Roosevelt, Edna and Russell Jones.
Ryan Jones is the son of Roosevelt and Edna Jones.
Three bodies found burning in a Hephzibah field Tuesday now have names.
The reported victims are all members of the Jones family, Russell Jones and his parents Roosevelt and Edna Jones. NBC 26 confirmed these names confirmed through the Bibb County Superintendent, where the victims' brother and son worked as a principle.
Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree held a media conference Wednesday afternoon, saying autopsies were done earlier in the day, but he would not confirm the victims' names.
"We still have to complete interviews, at least a dozen potential witnesses, process an open field crime scene, a residential crime scene and multiple vehicles associated with this investigation, "said Roundtree.
The first crime scene was at the victims' home in the Pinnacle Place subdivision off Tobacco Road. The three bodies were found in what is being called a secondary scene in the Hephzibah in a fire that authorities believe was intentionally set.
"This is a multiple homicide," continued Roundtree. "If charges are in fact filed, it will be up to the DA's office in which or not they will seek the death penalty but under Georgia law, multiple death does qualify as a reason to seek it."
The man in custody is a only a person of interest at this time, not a suspect.
"The public should know that even though no charges have been filed at this time, we feel there is no further threat related to this particular case."
Under Georgia Law, a person can be held up to 72 hours without charges made against him. Roundtree would not release the identity of the man in custody related to this case.
He did want to clear up confusion from conflicting social media reports.
"I've read some social media reports regarding that one of the persons listed as being the target of the situation, but there is absolutely no truth to that whatsoever and no substance for that report."
Check back for updates on this developing story.
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