Couple charged with murder hide at Forsyth campground
Roger and Kelly Jones have been on the run from police for more than 20 years. They are accused of killing Patrick Howe in Dodge city, Kansas in April 1992.
The owner of KOA Campground in Forsyth, Kennie Bowman, says he trusted the woman he knew as Jan Jones with the keys to his front office and cash register. Bowman says he cannot believe the Joneses had been hiding out at his campground disguising themselves as Jan Jones and James Gardner. The couple had been working as employees of the campground since September.
“She was an office worker and she had worked up to where she was in charge of the morning shift,” said Bowman. “She was a fantastic worker. In fact, she wanted so much work as you could give her, she even worked six days a week.”
Although he was impressed with her work ethic, he admits he was disappointed in her husband, who worked as a maintenance man.
“He was delivering pizzas to [a man] one night and cussed him out because he didn’t give him a tip. I wouldn’t rehire him because of the quality of his work and all the complaints,” added Bowman.
The KOA Campground owner said he learned of the couple through “Workcamper News,” which is a publication to help people find jobs.
“We got in touch with them through an ad that we put in the Workcamper News,” he explained. “We negotiated and that’s the way I brought them here from Wylie, Texas.”
Federal agents, along with Monroe County Sheriff’s Office investigators, arrested the couple last Thursday without incident.
“There where all kinds of policeman and sheriff, and FBI, detectives, and everything else and I got off the tractor and they told me that they locked Jan and James up for murder,” said campground employee Anthony Bryant.
Bryant says Roger Jones only worked at the campground for a month because he was diagnosed with cancer.
“I still can’t believe it. I mean, ’cause they were always so nice to me and I worked with Ms. Jan every morning,” added Bryant. “She [was] always good.”
Still, Bowman says he’s having a hard time believing the person he trusted would be arrested on murder charges.
“If she was not involved in this I would employ her back immediately,” he added. “I don’t know what happened in Dodge City, Kansas. I don’t know about this accusation that is being made. She’s arrested for something that happened 20 years ago. A lot happens after 20 years, people change.”
Roger and Kelly Jones remain in the Monroe County jail and are awaiting extradition to Kansas where they face murder charges.