Friday, February 23, 2018
Public safety

Bodies of Dunedin couple found in wildlife area

WEEKI WACHEE — Kenneth Jones got a troubling call from his parents early Sunday morning, authorities say.

The call prompted Jones to ask Pinellas County sheriff's deputies to check on Michael and Glenna Jones, both 66, at their Dunedin home. When deputies arrived, the couple and their tan PT Cruiser were gone, but there were signs that Glenna had been bound at the house, the Sheriff's Office said. Investigators also found evidence leading them to believe that the couple might be in the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area in northwest Hernando County.

About 90 minutes later, Hernando sheriff's deputies found the couple dead in a wooded part of the sprawling wildlife area west of U.S. 19. Deputies suspect that Michael Jones killed his wife and then committed suicide. Their bodies were found outside the car, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

Citing an ongoing investigation, both agencies declined to provide additional details Monday, including what Kenneth Jones heard during the phone call.

"It made him very concerned and was disturbing enough where he felt he needed to contact law enforcement," said Pinellas sheriff's spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda.

Kenneth Jones could not be reached Monday. No one answered the door of his St. Petersburg home.

His parents' home at 1817 Dinnerbell Lane S in Dunedin was also quiet. No one answered the door of the pink stucco ranch home with seashell wall decorations, a potted plant and a welcome mat — "Happiness is a day at the beach" — at the entrance. A silver Hyundai sport utility vehicle was parked in the driveway.

Neighbors thought the Joneses hadn't lived there long, maybe a year or two, but property records show that the couple bought the house exactly nine years ago, on May 20, 2004. The Sheriff's Office on Monday could not provide a history of calls for service at the address. The couple had no criminal record in Florida.

Jeanine Metts of Ranchwood Drive E said she didn't really know the couple around the corner. But she buried her face in her hands when a reporter explained the likely source of the yelling Metts had heard late Saturday night.

She said another neighbor told her he'd seen Glenna Jones working in the yard earlier in the day. That night, Metts said, police descended on the home, and Metts was awakened by what she now believes may have been a female relative of the Joneses yelling into a telephone.

Metts, 56, said she had been praying ever since.

"I was really bothered by it because I knew something terrible happened," she said.

Staff writer Danielle Paquette and news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Reach Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.

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