Many details in a shocking abuse and murder case in Kansas City — the ended with the discovery of a little boy’s body in a pig pen — remain under wraps, as the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) has not released records about the years Adrian Jones was allegedly held captive under the guise of homeschooling by the couple who later admitted to murdering him.
In 2012, according to 41 Action News, the DCF removed Adrian Jones and his six sisters from his mother’s home and placed him in the care of his biological father, Michael Jones, and stepmother, Heather Jones — although the children’s maternal grandmother had asked for custody. Three years later, authorities would find the little boy’s decomposed body in a livestock pen near the home.
After Adrian, 7, starved to death in a shower stall where he had reportedly been confined for two weeks, “[His father and stepmother] went out and bought the pigs,” the boy’s grandmother Judy Conway, told 41 Action News.
“They didn’t feed the pigs for a period of time and then they threw him out there.”
Michael and Heather Jones have both pleaded guilty to murder, and Michael is due for sentencing this coming Monday. But questions remain about how and why Adrian was allowed to suffer for so long — to go hungry and endure torturous punishments like being forced to stand up to his neck in filthy pool water over night — especially as concerned family members tried to raise the alarm.
— Angie Ricono (@angiericono) April 28, 2017
41 Action News claims to have spoken to several people who contacted DCF before Adrian died, and Conrad also said she contacted DCF twice as Michael and Heather Jones refused to give her access to the grandchildren. She told the news station that DCF did not help, and that they are now refusing to share his file.
The agency has also refused to share the file with the Kansas City Star, but gave the newspaper its first statement on the matter this week.
“DCF had worked closely with the Missouri Department of Social Services in providing multiple services to the Jones family,” Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said in the statement. “This family moved frequently between Kansas and Missouri, which greatly disrupted continuity of services and evaluation.”
Gilmore said that DCF last had contact with the family in 2012, and the Missouri Department of Social Services did not release any records, despite “repeated requests” from the Kansas City Star.
For now, the killers themselves have been the source of the most information about the abuse and torture Adrian suffered before he died: According to 41 Action News, Heather Jones gave her landlord, Jen Hoevers, access to her iCloud account after she was arrested, asking her to save photos of her children.
Hoevers was shocked to find that the Jones’s had documented their abuse of Adrian with photos, while other evidence of torture was caught on the numerous surveillance cameras the parents kept throughout the home to monitor their children. It appears that the abuse primarily targeted Adrian, who, according to a witness who spoke to 41 Action News, had been forced to eat oatmeal while his sisters were treated to McDonald’s.
The content of the videos and images included below are extremely disturbing.
The above image reportedly represents the early stages of the abuse, when Adrian would be forced to stand with his hands in the air for several hours.
The abuse appeared to get more severe over the course of nine months. The following photo was reportedly taken not long before Adrian died, when Heather and Michael Jones forced him to stand in filthy pool water overnight.
41 Action News also obtained video surveillance recordings that showed Adrian desperately trying to feed himself. In one, he is seen eating out of a bowl with his hands tied behind his back. The news station reports that in the audio, Heather Jones can be heard telling another child that Adrian has just eaten from a bowl of applesauce containing bugs and dirt.
Another surveillance video clip shows Adrian, naked and emaciated, hiding in the kitchen as another adult walks through the room. He cowers in fear until the adult walks past and then races out of the kitchen with a bowl in his hands.
That video corroborates reports that another adult was living in the home at the time of the abuse, and did nothing to stop it.
Michael Jones will be sentenced on Monday. Heather Jones was previously sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
Featured image: Family photo of Adrian Jones in 2012