Adrian was placed in the care of his father after it was decided that his mother, Dainna Pearce, was not a responsible mother to him and his sisters. They moved in with Michael and his wife, Heather, where Michael was subjected to the most inhumane treatment until he died and his remains were fed to the pigs bought specifically for the purpose of getting rid of his emaciated body.
Michael's torture was usually filmed by the sick couple and saved on Heather's computer. The photos were discovered after the couple were arrested and they reveal the unbelievable life Adrian was subjected to until he passed.
The little boy was a tiny bag of bones when he died. He was locked behind a plywood door in a shower and made to stand for hours in stagnant water up to his neck. He was shackled, bound, gagged, starved, beaten, left out in the cold in skimpy wear... Adrian went through it all and even in death, he was denied a decent burial.
His stepmother often referred to him as "the boy," rather than use his name and while the other six girls were well cared for, Adrian was not. Evidence from Heather's laptop shows the living hell that was Adrian's life.
In one of the videos, he was seen standing outside on a very cold January evening, his hand and foot shackled and wearing just a T-shirt and pajama pants. In the distressing video, Adrian can be seen walking back and forth, his body shaking as he shivered. At some point, he desperately tries to drink from a cup he can't pick up because his wrists are handcuffed behind his back.
There were pictures of Adrian bound tightly with rigid kitchen cutting boards beneath the bandages so he could not bend over. There was a close-up of his lips, covered with angry sores, caused, investigators believe, because he had tried to chew away at his plywood prison. There were pictures of him blindfolded and strapped to an inversion table and the injuries that resulted thereof. What's worse? Heather had even saved online ads for straitjackets and blanket wraps for transporting human bodies, meaning she most likely had it in mind to kill the boy.
The photos were found after Heather gave her computer password to her landlady to help send photos of her children to her while she was in custody awaiting trial. The landlady, Jennifer Hoevers, logged on to the device and could not believe her eyes at the first image that greeted her. One video discovered by Hoevers shows Adrian standing for hours on end with his hands in the air. Another reveals him being hit across the face with a broomstick. In another, Adrian was made to carry tiki torches and made to walk around aimlessly in a video taken by his twisted father and stepmother. A photograph showed him with a bar of soap stuffed in his mouth, others with injuries caused by a Taser. It was revealed that Heather will sometime tase the boy for 15 to 20 seconds at a time while he screamed out in pain.
Heather seemed to be documenting the abuse and the injuries it caused as if she was proud of it. Hoevers even found a message Heather had sent to an unknown person:
The Jones family lived in a single-story, four-bedroom home set on 15 acres of land on North 99th Street in Kansas City, Kansas. It is so isolated no-one would ever hear Adrian scream so he suffered without external intervention. His grandmother, Judy Conway, while lamenting her grandson's death, is calling for a public inquiry into how no-one helped the football-loving little boy as he went through almost a year of unimaginable agony before he finally succumbed. She revealed that she last saw him at Christmas 2012 and he looked healthy and happy. She never saw him again until his death even though she fought really hard to get access to the children after that. Sometime in 2014, she got a call from Michael Jones, telling her that the little boy was in a psychiatric hospital because he had turned into a pedophile and had sexual predator tendencies. Adrian was 6 at the time. Jones told his ex-lover's mother she couldn't go see her grandson and abruptly hung up. Conway later saw a report from the hospital. It said that Adrian was a lively, curious boy. But when Michael and Heather visited he became quiet and sullen. Adrian later left the hospital and went home where his torture continued. Adrian's eldest sister Keiona, known as Kiki, wrote a letter to Adrian after his death and shared on her Facebook account.
In the post, Kiki, now 20-years-old, revealed that their mother was not an attentive mother and would always leave them in her care while she went out all night. Kiki, who is Dainna's daughter with a different man wrote of how she felt angry at having to take car of her younger ones while their mother went out for long stretches and because of that she never got to do what kids her age did. She apologised to Adrian for sometimes wishing he and his sisters (her half sisters) had never been born.
"Mom liked to go out a lot; she didn't necessarily know how to be a mom, but you did not understand at the time because you were so young, I was always assigned to watch you and your sisters when Mom said she was going grocery shopping, but every time she wouldn't come back from the store until the next day. I would get so angry because my friends would get to hang out and be teenagers and I was always stuck at home watching you and your sisters," she wrote.
On Christmas eve of 2012, Kiki followed her grandmother to go see Adrian and her two half- sisters (Madison, now 12, and Tiesa, now 7). On that visist, Michael Jones had hugged Kiki , gave her $100 and thanked her for all the times she looked after his children. That was also the last she saw her brother. During Michael's sentencing, Kiki revealed that she was terrified of Michael when she lived with him for four years as a child after her mother married him.
"You were my father-figure,’ she said to Michael in court. "I remember being terrified of you because of the way you treated my mom. My mother was scared of you, she was depressed and you were abusive. I remember how she locked herself in the bathroom saying she would kill herself because you had destroyed her self-esteem. I thank God every day that she was not hurt,"
She added: "I wanted so badly to believe my siblings would be safe with you. You are deserving of eternity in prison with no chance of parole. You took an innocent life and my family’s emotional health as well."
Adrian's biological mother also spoke at the hearing. Dainna lost custody of her children after she was investigated by the Kansas's Department for Children and Families (DCF) following reports that she had taken drugs while pregnant but she tested negative. They probed claims of neglect that were unsubstantiated. But in 2011 they did find a lack of supervision and of allowing her kids to skip school. Michael got custody of his three children and he started a new family with Heather with whom he had more daughters. Speaking in court, Dainna said to Michael:
"Adrian was in your care and you took his life from him and tormented him with cruelty. You killed him in the most gruesome, hideous manner. You failed as a father. You were supposed to protect him, love him, kiss away his hurts and show him how to be a great man. But you chose to murder your own flesh and blood."
Michael and Heather Jones would have gotten away with the murder of Adrian because, for two months after he had been killed, no one noticed his absence. It was not until Thanksgiving of that year when Heather called the police to report domestic violence that was when they were arrested.
The Jones' had planned to move to Utah and start a life there where no one knew Adrian but that Thanksgiving day, Heather called cops to the Kansas City home to report that Michael had shot at her while she was holding her youngest daughter. When police arrived Heather broke down and told them to look for bones in the pig pen. They found human remains that matched Adrian's DNA. Michael and Heather Jones were arrested and ever since Heather has tried to pin all the blame on her husband. On a Facebook message sent while awaiting trial, she wrote:
"I took responsibility for the children yes I loved them and cared for them but I am only 1 person and there was no controlling or getting away from that man when he was cycling!! He had cameras everywhere in my home all rooms and even outside."
Then she talks about a time when he was stopped by police: "When he was pulled over with the 6 girls he had only loaded assult (sic) rifles, loaded handguns, his drugs, promised me he was going to kill everyone that day and end it all. I am beyond broken for Adrian and my girls," she added.
The truth was discovered after the landlady found the incriminating photos and videos on Heather's computer which left her so horrified she did not know what to do about it. She held onto the information for a while and only presented it to the authorities after Heather's own sentencing but before Michael was sentenced. When she first showed the photos to Michael's grandmother, the older woman revealed that she threw up at the first photo she saw of her grandson looking malnourished like a victim of war.
Adrian is believed to have died at some point between September 18 and October 4 of 2015. For two weeks, investigators believe the family lived with the body before Michael Jones went out and bought six feeder pigs.
He then tossed the body in their pen trying to erase all evidence of how they had tortured the boy to death. At Heather's sentencing in November, prosecutor Sheryl Lidtke said she had never seen abuse like it in 27 years on the job.
"This is the most heinous crime I have ever prosecuted," she said.
Adrian's sisters, Madison and Tiesa, are now in foster care, undergoing intense therapy.
Below are more photos and one of the videos where Adrian was left out in the cold.