by Chris Horne, 13WMAZ.com
- Three burned bodies were found in a wooded area in Hephizibah, a suburb 15 miles outside of Augusta.
- Acting Supt. Susanne Griffin-Ziebart sent an email to Bibb schools employees saying the victims were family members of Appling Middle principal Steve Jones.
- Richmond County Sheriff's Office initially identified the victims as members of the Jones family but have since backtracked.
The Bibb County school district sent out an email Wednesday to employees saying one of their own had lost three family members to homicide.
Three burned bodies were found in a wooded area in Hephzibah, a suburb about 15 miles southwest of Augusta in Richmond County.
The school district email, sent by acting superintendent Susanne Griffin-Ziebart, identified the victims as the mother, father and younger brother of Appling Middle School principal Steve Jones.
Richmond County Sheriff's Office initially identified the bodies as members of the Jones family, according to a report by CBS affiliate WRDW, but then later backtracked, saying they want to wait on test results.
The bodies were found after a call about a brush fire was made to police.
The complete text of the email sent by Susanne Griffin-Ziebart on Wednesday morning:
If you have not already heard, I am deeply saddened to share that Steve Jones, the principal at Appling Middle School, has lost his mother, father and younger brother in what has been reported as a "triple homicide." I spoke with Steve this morning and he has indicated that the investigation is ongoing and that the family has not yet received the final report from investigating authorities.
As you can imagine, the loss is beyond devastating for the family. We will remain in contact with Steve and will do all we can to provide support to him and his family. During this trying time, we are asking that the BCSD community respect the family's need for privacy as they work through the difficult days ahead. Please keep Steve and his wife, Danielle, and their family, in your thoughts and prayers.