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Five missing South Carolina children found dead in Alabama

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(CNN) — Five children, ages 1 to 8, reported missing from South Carolina last week, were found dead in Alabama Tuesday, authorities said.

Their remains were discovered in Wilcox County, Alabama, Butler County, Alabama, Sheriff Kenny Harden told CNN Tuesday.

Their mother reported the children and their father missing from their Lexington County, South Carolina, home last Wednesday, according to Lexington County Sheriff Lewis McCarty.

Their father was located and detained on Saturday on charges unrelated to their disappearance, McCarty said.

CBS 6 affiliate WHNT reported that the father, Timothy Ray Jones Jr. led police to the bodies.

Timothy Jones Jr.

The father who is being held in connection to the deaths of his five children has been identified as 32-year-old Timothy Jones, Jr, according to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

No other details were immediately available about how the children died.

Their parents were divorced and the father had primary custody.

A multi-state search, involving the FBI and state law enforcement agencies, for the children and their father was launched after the mother told sheriff’s investigators that she has been unable to contact her former husband.

“Neighbors told deputies that the children’s father said he was moving with his children from his home near Lexington to another state,” the sheriff said.

CNN’s Suzanne Presto contributed to this report.

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