8-year-old South Carolina girl told father 'I love you' before he murdered her and her four siblings, claim authorities

The 37-year-old computer engineer allegedly shoved the bodies of eight-year-old Merah, seven-year-old Elias, six-year-old Nahthan, two-years-old Gabriel, and one-year-old Abigail, into his car and drove them around for a week


                            8-year-old South Carolina girl told father 'I love you' before he murdered her and her four siblings, claim authorities

An eight-year-old girl who was brutally killed by her father in South Carolina told him she loved him before he butchered her and his four other children, authorities claim.

The suspect, identified as Timothy Jones Jr, is reportedly facing death penalty for killing his five children, aged one to eight, and then driving their bodies around in his vehicle for a week.

The computer engineer allegedly shoved of eight-year-old Merah, seven-year-old Elias, six-year-old Nahthan, two-years-old Gabriel, and one-year-old Abigail, into his car and drove them around. Jones has been charged with five counts of murder for taking the lives of his children in August 2014.

FBI Agent David Mackey, while testifying during Jones' trial in Lexington County, said that little Merah had witnessed her father killing her younger brother Elias so "he goes to his daughter Merah Gracie and he kills her in the same manner."

"According to Mr Jones, before he strangled her, Merah said, ‘Daddy, I love you.’" the FBI agent said, according to the Mirror.

The 37-year-old software engineer was granted custody of his children after his marriage fell apart.

Jones had written down a whole range of chilling plans to kill his children, which included "Head to campground," "Melt bodies," and "Saw and bones to dust or small pieces... sanitation plant." He eventually buried the bodies of his children on a rural hillside near Camden, Alabama.

Timothy Jones Jr drove around with his dead children in his car for a week before being arrested. (Lexington County Sheriff's Department)

The case first came to notice of the authorities after he was arrested at a drink-driving checkpoint in Smith County, Mississippi, on September 6, 2014. Authorities reportedly smelled a terrible odour coming from the vehicle, which they described as the "smell of death."

When they searched Jones' Cadillac Escalade car,  the cops found a bucket of chemicals, blood, maggots and children's clothes. 

Jones, whose trial began on May 14, has claimed that he is not guilty of murder as his lawyers have cited insanity as the reason. The defense attorneys reportedly revisited Jones' confession to the police, where he told them he was overpowered by the "voices" in his head.

The suspect was recorded as saying: "A voice says, 'Why don't you burn the bodies?' Another voice says, 'Why don't you cut them up and feed them to hogs?' Another said, 'Why don't you put them in concrete?"

Jones, in his confession, also said that he made his son Nahtahn exercise for hours as a punishment for breaking a power outlet in their home.

He has claimed that when he found his six-year-old dead as a result, he became furious and went around his house strangling his other children.

Jones' trial continues.