TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas received reports that a boy who ultimately was murdered and fed to pigs was being physically abused years before his death, according to documents released Tuesday that also show a social worker was in contact with his father and stepmother by phone more than a year after the state said it lost physical contact with the family.
The Kansas Department for Children and Families released more than 2,000 pages of documents on Adrian Jones, whose father and stepmother are serving life prison sentences in his death. Authorities say Michael and Heather Jones abused, tortured and starved Adrian, whose remains were found in Kansas City, Kansas, in November 2015.
The family moved frequently, living in communities in both Kansas and Missouri and complicating efforts by social workers in both states to keep tabs on Adrian despite repeated interactions with his family. The Kansas agency’s last physical contact with the family was in February 2012, according to Secretary Phyllis Gilmore, who said in a statement Tuesday that the records show that the father and stepmother “worked constantly to evade our intervention.”
Gilmore went on to say, “Even when the Jones family moved to Missouri and was no longer within our jurisdiction, our social workers continued to make efforts to communicate with Missouri official to ensure the family was provided with services and assessed.”
In October 2013, someone reported to the department that Adrian had been “eating from the trash can” and had behavioral problems. The location of the incident is listed only as Shawnee County, Kansas, and the name of the person who told the agency is blacked out of the report. The records show a department supervisor assigned the case to a social worker to investigate whether Adrian was “without parental control.” Many details aren’t clear because of how the records were compiled, and the department would not comment on individual records.
However, the records show that a social worker contacted Heather Jones by phone and she said that she and Michael Jones had brought the boy from Missouri to Kansas to take him to a hospital. The report said that Adrian had been “hospitalized several times.” A social worker later reported that Michael Jones had an apartment above a business address in Topeka and that an uncle lived in the area.
The Kansas records also showed that Heather Jones obtained medical coverage in September 2013 for Adrian through the state’s Medicaid program, known as KanCare. She was denied services in November 2013 because she did not prove she lived in Kansas.
The records also show that in December 2011, Heather Jones faced an allegation of abusing another child, which the agency found to be “unsubstantiated.” The other, unnamed child went to the hospital, and the agency’s reports on the incidents said a police officer found that Adrian had a black eye and bruises on his face.
Michael Jones said at the time that he and Heather Jones had separated, and he signed a “safety plan” in which he agreed that she would not have contact with Adrian or the other children in their household, at least temporarily. The family was assigned a therapist. The therapist told a state social worker in an April 26, 2012, email that the family was living in Oskaloosa, Kansas, and had pigs, adding that and one child was “thinking of naming the pigs after fruits.”
Affidavits and search warrants unsealed Monday revealed that Adrian died after escalating abuse ended with him being beaten for “stealing food” and locked naked in a shower stall for months. A closed-circuit surveillance camera recorded his deteriorating condition.