Sheriff Richard Roundtree provided no new details into Tuesday’s triple homicide at a news conference Wednesday, but he thanked the media for quickly disseminating information that led investigators to a second crime scene.
Investigators were called to an undeveloped, wooded area of Walton Farms subdivision, off Willis Foreman Road, after firefighters responding to a brush fire found the remains of two men and one woman.
Soon after the media reported the bodies, police said they received calls to check a home that appeared to be another crime scene related to the first.
Autopsies were conducted Wednesday morning, but Roundtree did not discuss the findings. Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen said the identification process has begun and dental records obtained, but positive identities might not be available for another week.
“Until we receive evidentiary confirmation from the medical examiner we cannot legally confirm the identifies,” Roundtree said.
Deputies and investigators were seen at a home on Pinnacle Place Drive on Tuesday evening. Neighbors said the home’s owners – retired Richmond County educators, Roosevelt and Edna Jones – and their son, Russell, had not been seen all day. Later, police were seen towing several vehicles from the home.
According to The (Macon) Telegraph, Steve Jones, a Bibb County middle school principal, is mourning the loss of his parents and younger brother, who resided at the Pinnacle Place Drive residence.
Acting Bibb school Superintendent Susanne Griffin Ziebart issued a statement to school administrators Wednesday morning.
“I spoke with Steve this morning and he has indicated the investigation is ongoing and that the family has not yet received the final report from investigating authorities,” the statement said. “As you can imagine, the loss is beyond devastating for the family.”
Edna Jones worked for the Richmond County School System from 1980 to 2009 as an elementary school teacher. Most of her career was spent at Jamestown Elementary from 1993 to 2009.
Roosevelt Jones taught at Paine College before moving to Tutt Middle School, where he taught from 1981 to 2008.
A man was taken into custody about 9 p.m. Tuesday after police received tips, but the suspect has not been charged.
Roundtree said that a person of interest can be held for 72 hours before a judge is needed to extend it. Investigators do not believe multiple suspects were involved in the crime or that the public is in any danger.
Authorities are looking at the homicides as a potential death penalty case. In Georgia multiple deaths qualify for the death penalty.
Roundtree said investigators still have at least a dozen witnesses to interview, two crime scene and multiple vehicles to process.
“We’re days away from completing forensic investigations,” he said.
Police are still asking for the public to call (706) 821-1000 with any additional information.
Staff Writer Tracey McManus and The (Macon) Telegraph contributed to this report.