Mother found dead with four children was beat to death with baseball bat

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB)-- UPDATE:

Marion County Sheriff's officials say a the woman who was found dead along with her four children in Georgia was beaten to death with a baseball bat.

Her 38-year-old husband Michael Jones is charged with killing Casei Jones.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said he believes Jones killed his wife and children at their home, storing their bodies there and in his van for weeks before driving to Georgia.

An affidavit says deputies went to the couple's home Sept. 14 after her mother couldn't contact her. The vacant home smelled of decomposition.

Authorities in Brantley, Georgia, contacted the sheriff's office, saying Jones was involved in a crash and his wife's body was found in the van.

An attorney isn't listed for Jones. Authorities say he will likely face more charges.
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Michael Wayne Jones went back to the Marion County jail after his first appearance before a judge Thursday.

He appeared in the courtroom on a video link from the Marion County jail.

In the jail Thursday morning, Jones remained quiet as he stood before the judge.

Jones is the man accused of killing his family and living with their bodies for several weeks before dumping them in Georgia.

Thursday morning was his first court appearance, after being brought back to Marion County.

The Assistant State Attorney Becky Fletcher advised Judge, Robert Landt, that with the current murder charge and with more likely to come, jones should be held without bail.

Landt agreed and ordered Jones to return to jail without bond.

For Casei's family, this is something they never imagined could happen.

"They would always come up here and bring all the kids and it was just the perfect little family, you know people were jealous of it, you know they seemed like they were in love,” said Casei’s sister, Sarah Gilbert.

The autopsies for all five bodies are currently being performed in Savannah, Georgia.

Authorities are still waiting for the medical examiner to properly identify the bodies before further charges are brought against jones.

"As this develops and as this investigation goes along, and the autopsy results come in, we do fully expect to bring more charges against him for their deaths,” said Public Information Director with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Paul Bloom.

Jones is on suicide watch at the jail.

His next court date is scheduled for October 22, for his arraignment to enter a formal plea.

The judge said Thursday that, if convicted, it is probable Jones will serve a life sentence.