AUGUSTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A Bibb County principal tipped off the Richmond County Sheriff's Office which lead to the arrest of his brother for triple homicide.
According to a news release, deputies arrested 26-year-old Ryan Jones and charged him with three counts of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. He was originally a person of interest.
Lt. Calvin Chew tells 41NBC investigators received a phone call from Appling Middle School principal Steve Jones and told them he had no contact with his parents, Roosevelt and Edna Jones, or his brother, Russell Jones, since Monday. Deputies arrived at their home in Hephzibah and found large amounts of blood inside the residence.
The three bodies were found burning in a field off of Mathew Ct. on Tuesday. The release states investigators determined each victim had been shot at least once. Ballistics evidence recovered during the autopsies and at the home confirmed the firearm belonged to Ryan Jones.
Lt. Chew says authorities are still waiting for dental confirmation to officially identify the victims, however they have no reason to believe the bodies are anyone other than the remains of Roosevelt, Edna, and Russell Jones.
Lt. Chew says investigators haven't determined a motive yet.
After the incident was reported, Bibb County Acting Superintendent, Susanne Griffin-Ziebart, sent a message to the entire Bibb school district to express the family's need for privacy:
I spoke with Steve this morning and he has indicated that th family has not yet received the final report from investigating authorities. As you can imagine, the loss is beyond devastating for the family. We will remain in contact with Steve and will do all we can to provide support to him and his family. During this trying time, we are asking that the BCSD community respect the family's need for privacy as they work through the difficult days ahead. Please keep Steve and his wife, Danielle, and their family in your thoughts and prayers.
Stay with 41NBC for updates on this developing story.