Charges were filed and Michael A. Jones appeared in Wyandotte County District Court today in connection with a child abuse case at 5201 N. 99th St., Kansas City, Kan.
Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman filed the charges of child abuse concerning alleged abuse of a 7-year-old child from May 1 to Sept. 28, 2015; as well as charges of aggravated assault and aggravated battery alleged against Jones involving an adult woman at the address.
In a news conference this afternoon, Gorman would not confirm nor deny allegations published by a New York newspaper that a boy had died and his remains had been fed to pigs at a barn at the location.
However, Gorman said the “abuse of a child” charge was just the “tip of the iceberg” involving possible charges concerning the 7-year-old.
He said more investigation needs to be done, and identities need to be confirmed.
“We are continuing the investigation,” he said. “I don’t believe you’ve seen the end result of the charges yet. There’s probably more charges to come. There’s a lot of investigation to come.”
Some of the next steps for the investigation will include looking at electronics, the crime scene and vehicle, he said. He asked the public to be patient, as there was still a lot of investigation remaining to be done.
Gorman said an autopsy has been done, they are consulting with a forensic anthropologist, and the result of it is not known yet. He said he is confident an identity will be established.
A judge signed a warrant on Friday with the three charges against Jones, he said. The court granted a $10 million bond in the case. Gorman said Kansas requires a bond to be set for every defendant.
The Kansas City, Kan., Police Department responded to a domestic violence call involving an adult woman at the North 99th address, and from there it escalated into a larger investigation, Gorman said.
Currently, six girls living at the address have been taken into protective custody, Gorman said. The oldest child is 10 and the youngest is less than 2, he said.
“Those children are safe, and they will be under the jurisdiction of the court,” he said.
There is an investigation going on concerning the welfare of the other children, he said. Gorman said there have been Kansas Department of Children and Families contacts made in other counties and with similar agencies in other states with this family. However, there was no prior conviction in court for the two adults at the address that he is aware of.
The fact that the 7-year-old was missing was not brought to the Kansas City, Kan., police’s attention nor to the district attorney’s office attention until Nov. 25, Gorman said.
He said the family has not lived long in Wyandotte County, and the family has lived in other locations in this state and other states.
When asked how he felt about this case, Gorman said, “My discussions with the officers who have been out there, they described this as one of the worst things they have ever seen. For officers who have been on the street, for detectives to come up and say this case has made them angry, you can just surmise from that what kind of scene this must have been.”
Gorman said this is the worst he’s seen since 2001, when he handled a case concerning Marc Sappington, who was convicted of a multiple murder. It included cannibalism in one of the deaths.
Gorman said he was unable to discuss all details of the case with the press.
The address on North 99th is in an area that appears to be semi-rural, with some agricultural areas nearby, some wooded areas, and some suburban developments near. It is on a dead-end street, with little traffic. One real estate company online listed the home and property on North 99th as worth more than $300,000.
The defendant is listed as a bail bondsman in another city.
Gorman said he feels the $10 million bond amount is enough to hold the defendant. The defendant has said he wants to ask for a lower bail amount; however, that has not been scheduled by the court, Gorman said.
“It would be a concern of ours if he would try to bond himself out,” Gorman said. That wouldn’t be possible since he is not registered to be a bail bondsman in Wyandotte County, he said.