He is thought to have murdered four people before abducting three girls, two of them his own daughters. Another daughter, a 10-month-old baby, was among those killed.
The three Georgia girls kidnapped after four members of their family were murdered are now safe and are said to be in good condition.
"I heard all the cops so I stepped outside and I saw one of the cops running with a young female to the side of the car and I was like they caught him, I knew it was,” comments witness Bridgette Davis.
Police say they apprehended the suspect Jerry Jones, taken away on a stretcher. Jones, the father of two of the girls he had kidnapped and stepfather to the third is being treated for injuries sustained from a self-inflicted gunshot.
"I saw two of the kids they grabbed them and pulled them this way, and just the helicopters came and air lifted them away,” witness Howard Sears says.
"The truck ran into the poll and the cops surrounded them,” adds witness Mark Adkins.
Police say Jones first tried to out maneuver authorities on I75 near Chattanooga, Tennessee when he crashed his SUV.
“Jones had apparently shot himself at some point after the crash after the vehicle had spun out,” says Vernon Keenan, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director.
Thirty-one-year old Jones was the center of a manhunt since late Wednesday night when the bodies of his 10-month-old baby, his ex-wife's, parent's, and wife's, sister were found dead in northwest Georgia.
The killings occurred at two different homes. And investigators say they were a part of a methodical murder spree. The murder scenes went undiscovered for hours after an initial call was made to police because Jones allegedly cleaned up after the attacks and hid the bodies from view.
The ex- wife's family says Jones constantly threatened violence. And authorities believe it was his ex-wife's visit to a new boyfriend that could have set him off. When the news first hit of this morning's abduction it struck a cord with some area parents.
Local residents say when the Amber Alert flashed across their screen's they were paying close attention. Lucky those three girls were found alive, and within one day. Many area resident’s we spoke to with in the past few hours say their glad the Amber Alert was there to help.
The start of this New Year was shaken; up with the abduction and quick recover of three young north Georgia girls, ages 10, four, and three.
Al Dennis, with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, says early reports suggested the abductor may have been headed to Florida.
"The first thought to any parent, is that, this could have been my child, the child of a friend of mine or child of another relative. You feel for the family, and you certainly feel for those children,” explains Dennis.
With the help of a nationwide Amber Alert, this nightmare came to an end. A few area parents say they're fortunate that such a program exists.
"There are a lot of children that have gone missing and no one's ever found them, and if there would have been a program similar to this, then there would probable been more kids safe at home with their parents."
"More eyes are out in public areas, so you can't just run. Say you run to another city, then they're going to pop it on that TV and people are going to see it, Grocery store, banks, where ever people are at.”
Area parents say they were concerned about Thursday morning's news, not only because in happened in our region, but that it could have been anyone's child. Al Dennis tells us Florida’s Amber Alert program began back in August of 2000, and it has been activated close to 58 times since that date.
Dennis says you can't totally attribute the amber alert with the recovery of every kid, because you have to take into account other factors like an eyewitness for example, which help out in tracking down lost child.
wctv6.com Extended Web Coverage
The AMBER Plan
The AMBER Plan is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies and broadcasters to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases.
Broadcasters use the Emergency Alert System (EAS), formerly called the Emergency Broadcast System, to air a description of the missing child and suspected abductor.
This is the same concept used during severe weather emergencies. The goal of the AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and safe return of the child.
- The AMBER Plan was created in 1996 as a powerful legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman who was kidnapped and brutally murdered while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas.
- The tragedy shocked and outraged the entire community. Residents contacted radio stations in the Dallas area and suggested they broadcast special "alerts" over the airwaves so that they could help prevent such incidents in the future.
- The Dallas/Fort Worth Association of Radio Managers teamed up with local law enforcement agencies in northern Texas and developed this innovative early warning system to help find abducted children.
How Does the AMBER Plan Work?
- Once law enforcement has been notified about an abducted child, they must first determine if the case meets the AMBER Plan’s criteria for triggering an alert.
- The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children suggests three criteria that should be met before an Alert is activated.
- Law enforcement confirms a child has been abducted.
- Law enforcement believes the circumstances surrounding the abduction indicate that the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death.
- There is enough descriptive information about the child, abductor, and/or suspect’s vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help.
- Law enforcement confirms a child has been abducted.
- If these criteria are met, alert information must be put together for public distribution.
- This information can include descriptions and pictures of the missing child, the suspected abductor, a suspected vehicle, and any other information available and valuable to identifying the child and suspect.
- The information is then faxed to radio stations designated as primary stations under the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
- The primary stations send the same information to area radio and television stations and cable systems via the EAS, and it is immediately broadcast by participating stations to millions of listeners.
- Radio stations interrupt programming to announce the Alert, and television stations and cable systems run a "crawl" on the screen along with a picture of the child.
- Since the original AMBER Plan was established, 88 modified versions have been adopted at local, regional, and statewide levels. Thirty-eight states have a state-wide plan.
AMBER Plans Nationwide
- Alabama, Tuscaloosa County – AMBER Plan
- Alabama, Dothan -- AMBER Alert Plan
- Arizona, statewide -- Arizona Child Abduction Alert Plan
- Arizona, Tucson (Pima County) – Missing Child Alert
- Arkansas, statewide – Morgan Nick Alert
- California, statewide – California Child Safety AMBER Network
- California, Corcoran – To Rescue Abducted Children Immediately (TRACI)
- California, Sacramento – Child Abduction Regional Emergency Alert (CARE)
- California, San Francisco -- Bay Area AMBER Alert Plan
- California, Orange County – Child Abduction Regional Emergency Alert (CARE)
- Connecticut, statewide – Connecticut AMBER Plan
- Colorado, statewide – Colorado AMBER Plan
- Florida, statewide – Florida Emergency Missing Child Alert (FEMA)
- Georgia, statewide – Levi's CALL
- Hawaii, Honolulu -- MAILE Alert
- Idaho, Boise -- AMBER Alert
- Idaho, Madison County -- AMBER Alert
- Iowa, statewide -- AMBER Alert Plan
- Illinois, Belleville – St. Louis Area Regional Abduction Alert
- Illinois, statewide – Illinois AMBER Plan
- Indiana, Portage -- Missing Child Alert Plan
- Indiana, southeastern – Child Abduction Alert Program (CAAP)
- Indiana, statewide -- AMBER Alert
- Indiana, Allen County -- AMBER Plan
- Kansas, statewide -- AMBER Plan
- Kansas, Topeka (Jefferson City) – AMBER Alert
- Kansas, Wichita – AMBER Alert
- Kentucky, northern – Child Abduction Alert Program (CAAP)
- Kentucky, statewide -- Kentucky AMBER Alert System
- Louisiana, statewide -- AMBER Plan
- Maine, statewide -- AMBER Alert Program
- Maryland, statewide -- AMBER Plan
- Massachusetts, statewide -- AMBER Alert Plan
- Michigan, statewide – Michigan AMBER Alert
- Minnesota, statewide – Minnesota AMBER Alert
- Mississippi, statewide -- AMBER Alert
- Missouri, Kansas City – AMBER Alert
- Missouri, St. John – St. Louis Area Regional Abduction Alert
- Missouri, Northwestern MO -- Northwestern Missouri AMBER Plan
- Missouri, St. Louis – St. Louis Area Regional Abduction Alert
- Montana, statewide -- Montana AMBER Alert
- Nebraska, statewide -- AMBER Plan
- Nevada, Reno – Krystal Child Abduction Alert Plan
- New Jersey, statewide -- AMBER Plan
- New Mexico, Albuquerque – AMBER Alert
- New Mexico, statewide -- AMBER Alert
- New York, statewide – AMBER Alert
- North Carolina, Raleigh – NC Child Alert Notification System (NC CAN)
- North Carolina, Stokes County – AMBER Alert
- North Dakota, Fargo – JEANNA Alert
- North Dakota, statewide -- AMBER Alert Plan
- Ohio, Cincinnati – Child Abduction Alert Program (CAAP)
- Ohio, Mid-Ohio Region – Mid-Ohio Stranger Abduction Alert
- Ohio, Tuscarawas County – AMBER Alert Plan
- Ohio, North Central Ohio -- AMBER Alert
- Ohio, Northern Ohio -- Northern Ohio AMBER Alert Program
- Ohio, Miami Valley -- AMBER Alert
- Ohio, East OH and West PA -- Mahoning Valley AMBER Alert
- Ohio, statewide -- AMBER Plan
- Oklahoma, statewide – Oklahoma AMBER Plan
- Oregon, Lane County -- AMBER Plan
- Oregon, statewide -- AMBER Plan
- Oregon, Washington County -- AMBER Plan
- Pennsylvania, statewide – AMBER Alert
- Rhode Island, statewide -- AMBER Alert
- South Carolina, statewide -- AMBER Alert
- South Dakota, Yankton – AMBER Alert
- South Dakota, statewide -- AMBER Alert
- Tennessee, Knoxville -- East Tennessee AMBER Alert Plan
- Tennessee, Memphis – AMBER Alert
- Tennessee, statewide -- AMBER Alert Plan
- Texas, Amarillo – AMBER Alert
- Texas, Beaumont – Save Our Kids
- Texas, Dallas/Ft. Worth – AMBER Plan
- Texas, Houston – Houston Regional AMBER Plan
- Texas, Wichita Falls – AMBER Plan
- Texas, statewide – AMBER Alert Network
- Utah, statewide – Rachael Alert
- Virginia, Richmond – Richmond Regional AMBER Alert System
- Virginia, Roanoke – Roanoke Valley AMBER Alert
- Virginia, Spotsylvania – Lisk-Silva Alerts
- Virginia, Statewide - AMBER Alert
- Washington, statewide -- AMBER Plan
- Washington, King County -- AMBER Alert Plan
- Washington D.C., Regional Metro – DC AMBER Plan (Metropolitan Regional Plan)
- West Virginia, statewide -- AMBER Alert
- Wisconsin, Green Bay – Green Bay AMBER Plan
- Wisconsin, La Cross -- 7 Rivers AMBER Plan
- Wisconsin, Madison – AMBER Plan
Source: http://www.missingkids.org/ (The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Web site)