Five tragic deaths have rocked a Staten Island community.
Throats slashed and bodies set on fire, a mother and her four children were found dead Thursday in an apparent murder-suicide.
And police believe the grisly murders happened at the hands of a 14-year-old boy.
Pictures of the three youngest siblings were displayed on the fence outside the daycare center they attended.
The already unthinkable tragedy at their home on Nicholas Avenue deepened Thursday night with word that the eldest brother, 14-year-old C.J. Jones, may have murdered his entire family, slicing two sisters with a straight razor before setting the apartment on fire and cutting his own throat.
Neighbors who knew the Jones family were unanimous in rejecting the idea that the teen could be responsible.
“Every time I saw him he was looking after his brother and sister. He was always loving them, showing them, you know, teaching them right from wrong because he was the man of the house. He was the oldest child in there,” Shaqawna Meaders said.
When asked if he bought the rationale, Chante Fleming said, “No. That he slit his own sisters’ throats? Hell no. I don’t buy it!”
The dead include 7-year-old Melanie Jones, 10-year-old Brittany, who friends said slept in the same bedroom, and 2-year-old Jermaine, as well has their mother, Lisa Jones, described as hard working and attentive.
C.J. Jones was found apart from the others with the presumed murder weapon lying under his body.
“He’s a scrawny little boy. It’s not like he’s a big 14-year-old. He’s skinny. He’s slim. It’s not like he could’ve held one of them and sliced the other one’s throat. It didn’t happen like that,” Fleming said.
Investigators said they know for certain the fire was intentionally set. Three other families living in the building escaped without serious injury.