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.
How Does the AMBER Plan Work?
AMBER Plans Nationwide
Source: http://www.missingkids.org/ (The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Web site)