A group of motorcycle enthusiasts is gearing up to create a memorial to five Lexington County children who, authorities say, were killed by their father, Timothy Ray Jones Jr.
An outdoor sculpture envisioned in downtown Lexington would feature images of the children with an angel as a commemoration of abused youngsters.
Leaders of Bikers Against Abusing Children are seeking donation of a spot in Town Square Park for the project. The site is at Main Street and South Lake Drive across from county Family Court offices, where family disputes regarding children are handled.
Town leaders will discuss the idea Monday.
Mayor Steve MacDougall called the sculpture “a wonderful tribute.”
But questions about how much space is needed and how it would fit in with other park features must be resolved before the project gets the go-ahead, he said.
The children’s deaths “are our inspiration” in trying to promote prevention of mistreatment of youngsters, said Shawn Doeing, president of the county chapter of the motorcyclists’ organization.
State social services officials visited Jones’ family three times to investigate conditions.
One report from those officials shortly before the slayings said that Jones appeared “overwhelmed” in caring for his children, after his 10-year marriage ended in divorce in October 2013.
Jones, 32, is accused of killing his children – Merah, 8; Elias, 7; Nahtahn, 6; Gabriel, 2; and Elaine, 1 – on Aug. 28 at the family home in Red Bank. The home is six miles south of where the proposed sculpture would stand.
Autopsy results have not been released, but some law enforcement officials said it’s likely the children were strangled.
Jones drove around the Southeast for more than a week before being stopped at a traffic safety check in Raleigh, Miss., on Sept. 6, authorities have said.
The children’s bodies were found in plastic garbage bags Sept. 9 outside Camden, Ala., after Jones led investigators there, according to authorities.
Jones told investigators he believed his children planned to kill him and then “chop him up and feed him to the dogs,” according to an arrest warrant.
The deaths of the five youngsters “really hit hard” in many families across the Midlands, Doeing said.
It will take about $150,000 to pay for the sculpture.
Doeing hopes to raise more than that and donate the excess to the Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center, a nonprofit facility in West Columbia that assists abused children.