KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A slain Kansas boy, whose remains were fed to pigs, died after escalating abuse ended with him being beaten for “stealing food” and locked naked in a shower stall for months as a closed-circuit surveillance camera recorded his deteriorating condition, according to affidavits and search warrants released Monday.
The remains of 7-year-old Adrian Jones were found in November 2015 on the family’s Kansas City, Kansas, rental property after officers responded to a report of domestic abuse. The boy’s stepmother, Heather Jones, said the child’s father, Michael Jones, had beaten and choked her after she threatened to leave him and had fired a gun at her twice as she ran from the home. Heather Jones, worried because Michael Jones had left with six children, told authorities that Adrian had died and been fed to swine weeks earlier, according to the records.
The documents were released after Michael Jones was sentenced earlier this month to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 25 years. An identical sentence was ordered for Heather Jones in November.
According to the records, Heather Jones told authorities that Adrian was physically abused before coming to live with the couple and had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder with severe emotional detachment. She described him as being “a psychopath, like a serial killer.” She said Adrian once attempted to stab her in the abdomen when she was pregnant and that he had been a patient at several residential treatment facilities. An uncle told authorities that the child had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
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The Joneses used increasingly severe methods to control Adrian, including strapping him first to a crib mattress and then an inversion table, handcuffing him, restraining him with splints and ace bandages, shocking him with a device called a Zap Enforcer and sticking him in a suitcase with only his head sticking out, according to court records.
Heather Jones told authorities that Michael Jones would also punch Adrian and that the boy spent his final months confined to a shower stall, where a piece of plywood was used to keep him from escaping. Photos and videos show the boy suffered from “extreme starvation,” according to the records.
Michael Jones said that after finding the boy dead, his body was kept in the house for up to two weeks before the pigs were purchased from a person who was told the animals were to be used for a home-schooling project. Michael Jones told investigators that the pigs ate most of the child’s body and that the remaining bones were stored in a tub. Michael Jones explained the boy’s disappearance by saying he was in a mental facility.
One child told investigators the pigs were in the yard after returning from spending a couple weeks away from the house. The child also recalled hearing Adrian yelling “I’m going to die” through a vent and Heather Jones telling him to “suck it up” when he said he couldn’t walk because his feet were swollen.
Asked why she hated Adrian, Heather Jones told authorities that the boy had lied to welfare investigators, resulting in her biological son being taken away from her. Heather Jones talked about struggles with the boy in a private Facebook group, saying “pain compliance does not work” and that he “has to be restrained 95% of the time.” One person who responded appeared to think she was exaggerating, writing “god bless u for taking him in!!!”
Welfare officials in Kansas and Missouri had involvement with the family. Records released earlier this month show that Adrian Jones was 5 years old in July 2013 when he told a Missouri Children’s Division worker and police officer that a “little bone come out” when his father kicked him in the head. Missouri welfare officials said then that they didn’t think they could ensure Adrian’s safety at home, but that a county juvenile officer suggested the family be provided more services, according to records. The family then moved to Kansas.
Similar records remain under seal in Kansas, where welfare officials have said allegations against the family were “thoroughly investigated.”
Adrian’s maternal grandmother, Judy Conway, said earlier this month that “the system has failed Adrian.”