- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) - A couple charged with a 1992 death in Kansas have waived extradition from Georgia and are expected back in the state in the next few weeks, according to a Ford County investigator who has worked on the case for decades.

Kelly J. Jones, 58, and Roger Jones Sr., 65, were arrested last week on first-degree murder warrants in Forsyth, Georgia. Arrest warrants were issued 19 years ago for the Joneses in the beating and strangulation death of Patrick Howe, 25, in April 1992, but they fled Kansas before they could be arrested, The Hutchinson News reported (https://bit.ly/1G4XNKu ).

“From that point on, we were chasing ghosts,” investigator George Brown said. “We’d get a tip and chase it down, look at it (the case) three or four times a year, and start all over again when it led to a dead end.”

Brown and other officers found the couple last week at a Kampgrounds of America location after investigators received a tip. They had been living and working there since last year under the aliases of James and Jan Garner. A search of their camper trailer and vehicle on March 26 found evidence that the couple used several identities during their years on the run, investigators said.

Brown said the Joneses told him after their arrest that they traveled throughout the southern United States and it was “amazing” how they avoided police but he wouldn’t elaborate.

“They avoided us for so long. (The arrest) means a lot because you’re working for the victim and bringing that family some closure,” Brown said.

The couple is being held in Monroe County Jail without bond until they are extradited.

A survey crew found Howe’s body in a roadside ditch just west of Dodge City. Investigators believe he was killed at the Thunderbird Motel, where the three worked. Investigators believed Howe was killed because he wanted to move in with family in Oklahoma.

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Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, https://www.hutchnews.com

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