KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- (WDAF) -- Relatives of a 7-year-old boy who suffered horrific abuse before being killed by his stepmother and father and fed to pigs have filed a lawsuit alleging social service workers in Kansas and Missouri knew the boy was being tortured and could have prevented his death.
The maternal grandmother, biological mother and oldest sister of Adrian Jones claim in a lawsuit filed this week that social workers didn't permanently remove the boy from his home despite documenting repeated calls and reports of abuse over several years. The lawsuit seeks $25 million in punitive damages.
Police found the remains of 7-year-old Adrian Jones or A.J. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, the day before Thanksgiving. They had been called to the home after Heather Jones reported her husband, Michael Jones attacked and fired a gun at her. Heather told detectives Michael killed his son and disposed of his body in a livestock pen. The boy went missing towards the end of September 2015. Prior to this, no one ever reported his disappearance.
The lawsuit, filed in both Jackson County, Missouri, and Wyandotte County, Kansas, said the boy's death was “an entirely avoidable child-homicide.” It claims social workers “meticulously investigated and carefully documented the abuse” and generated stacks of reports chronicling the abuse.
“But their idea of intervention was limited, almost exclusively, to having A.J.'s father and stepmother sign a piece of paper agreeing to stop torturing the child — the legal equivalent of a 'pinky swear,'” the lawsuit says. “As it turned out, that signed paper might as well have been A.J.'s death warrant.”
During an interview with Fox 4 just a few weeks after Adrian's remains were found, Heather Jones said her husband was a violent man and said she was afraid to leave him. They had been married for nine years.
“He passed away in his sleep, but it was from injuries that he had sustained from getting beaten,” Heather told Fox 4 during that December 2015 interview.