Three die early Monday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Three persons are dead after murder/suicide event following multiple shootings in Andalusia, apparently related to a domestic dispute, which occurred early Monday morning.

According to Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams, Jr., at approximately 2 a.m. 911 received a call for help from a residence at Rt. 1, Box 66

off of County Road 25, or Brooklyn Road.

As the person continued to speak on the phone, an operator heard another person issuing a statement to "put the gun down."

Immediately afterward the phone from the residence went dead.

Officers with the Andalusia Police Department responded to the scene, and when they arrived they found two apparent gunshot victims, who later died.

The first victim was listed as Rhett K. Mulkey, 46, of Rt. 1 Box 17 in Andalusia, and the second victim was listed as Karen Barlow Jones, 42, of Andalusia. Jones apparently lived at the residence of the shootings and had previously been listed as a resident of Wing.

Williams said from information his department had received, Jones had apparently been separated from her husband, Bobby Jones, and the couple was in the process of divorcing.

From evidence attained at the scene, Williams said Bobby Jones was developed as a suspect in the apparent homicides.

A vehicle was located at his residence, at Rt. 1 Box 14 A in Wing, and the vehicle fit a description of a vehicle a witness had seen leaving the scene of the murders at a high rate of speed.

A check of the vehicle revealed evidence of blood being smeared in several different places.

The Covington County Sheriff's Department immediately began a lookout for the suspect, who had allegedly left his residence in a blue Ford Ranger pickup truck.

At approximately 8 a.m. on Monday, the truck was spotted on a dirt road off County Road 4.

Shortly afterward, a search by deputies recovered the body of Jones not far from where the truck was found.

Jones, according to Williams, had suffered a fatal, self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Williams said Jones also apparently left some type of suicide note explaining his actions.

He added that Mulkey and Karen Jones had sustained multiple shotgun wounds which resulted in their deaths.

Williams noted the increased rate of violent deaths, referring to the six people recently killed in Crenshaw County, the self-inflicted gunshot wound to a suspect in Gantt last Tuesday morning and the three killed during Monday's domestic episode.

"We've had 10 violent deaths in seven days," said Williams. "That is definitely enough."