SC Man Confesses to 2001 Girlfriend’s Murder, AL Police Say

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Brian E. Jones of South Carolina led officers to the remains of what he says is Janet Luxford, his girlfriend whom he says he killed in 2001, according to the Bessemer Police Department. The woman had been missing ever since and the case was still open.

Courtesy of the National System of Disappeared and Unidentified Persons.

After not hearing from her mother for a while, her daughter reported her missing in 2002. For decades, no one knew what happened to her. – until now.

On March 27, Brian E. Jones of South Carolina told police officers that he had killed Janet Luxford, his then-girlfriend, 41, in 2001 and led authorities to her remains in Bessemer. , Alabama, about 14 miles southwest of Birmingham, according to the Bessemer Police Department.

More than 20 years after the woman disappeared, Jones took a bus from South Carolina to Alabama and called police to confess to Luxford’s murder, police told McClatchy News on April 28.

Police said Jones told officers he had information on a homicide case, which they assumed was a case they were currently working on. Officers were shocked when he told them the crime occurred in 2001, according to authorities.

Police said Jones was “straightforward” with his information and was adamant about leading officers to the location of the woman’s remains. Jones said he wanted her to have a “proper burial,” according to police.

During the investigation, officers said they discovered Luxford was listed as missing and endangered and was last seen with a man named Brian.

On March 28, Jones led officers to the location where he said he left Luxford’s body, and within hours, investigators found human remains, according to authorities.

Officers said the remains were in a garment bag slightly larger than a suitcase.

As of April 28, authorities were unable to locate the dental records needed to identify the remains and confirm that they belong to Luxford. Police said Jones was charged with murder and abuse of a corpse by Luxford.

Since more than 20 years have passed, police said it is necessary to extract DNA from the bones that were found to identify the remains. The process can take up to nine months. Members of Luxford’s family were notified and provided DNA samples to help obtain a possible match.

Meanwhile, officers are searching dental records in Virginia and Florida, where the woman also lived. Dental records would help speed up the identification process, police said.

Officers said Luxford and Jones met in Jacksonville, Florida, where the woman worked as a maid at a hotel where Jones was staying. They then moved to Alabama.

Jones told police the crime occurred during a fight and said it was an accident, according to authorities.

The man is being held on $765,000 bond, authorities said.

Cassandre Coyer is a national real-time reporter for McClatchy covering the Southeast while based in Washington DC She is an alumnus of Emerson College in Boston, joining McClatchy in 2022. She previously wrote for The Christian Science Monitor, RVA Mag, The Untitled Magazine and more.

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