Natalie Jones

‘There were bushes grown up through the tires’: Sheriff says missing mom Natalie Jones’ car had been in wooded area for several months

The Heard County sheriff announced Wednesday that the car of a missing Georgia mom found on Tuesday had been in a wooded area for months, despite circulating rumors.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, human remains were found inside a pink Chevrolet on a property in a wooded area in Franklin, Georgia, close to Roosterville Road and Welcome Road. Missing mom Natalie Jones was last seen driving a distinct four-door, Chevrolet Cavalier, that she had painted a bright pink color with a blue stripe. It has a Georgia license plate number of RVE6177.

Adventures with Purpose,” an organization that specializes in water recovery while traveling cross-country to help find missing people, was on the scene when police arrived. Jones’ sister confirmed live with the organization that remains were her sister’s. An official identification by a coroner, however, still needs to be made.

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While neighbors said the car had not been seen there earlier and others speculated it was planted there, Heard County Sheriff Ross Henry debunked the statements and called them “90% fabricated.”

“Everything that has been said, 90% is just stuff they have fabricated,” Henry said. “The car has been there, probably from the day she went missing.”

Heard announced that the remains found inside the car were “consistent with being there since July.” Jones disappeared in July.

Heard also explained that details and evidence found at the scene are what indicated that Jones’ car had been in the wooded area for months, The Newnan Times-Herald reports, with tree growth around the car up to 7-feet tall.

“Whoever fabricated that the car was not there has made a lot of trouble,” Henry added.

“There were bushes grown up through the tires, through the bumper. The car has clearly been there for a long period of time.”

The sheriff added that the car didn’t show any evidence of a wreck and that it was purposely driven to that spot. Again, he reiterated that the car was not driven recently, but in July, before kudzu, trees and bushes covered up the area.

“Who in the world would try to move a car that they have hidden for three months? If they moved it, they would have had to have a helicopter to set it there and to put bushes around it. And clearly that is not the case.”

Natalie Jones
Natalie Jones [Handout]
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Jones, 28, of Grantville, was last seen on July 4 as she drove away from a friend’s home in Opelika, Alabama, between 10:20 p.m. and 11 p.m. According to her sister, Jessica Bishop, someone sent a text from Natalie’s phone around at around 12:52 a.m. on July 5. It’s the last known message from her Jones’ phone.

“I made it,” the text read.

Bishop previously told CrimeOnline that her sister was at a Fourth of July party with several friends at home off of Riverchase Drive in Opelika, but none of the friends knew where Jones planned to drive to after she left.

Police reportedly tried to access additional information from Jones’ cellphone, but Bishop said there was “minimal activity” available because Jones used a texting app.

Jones’ phone last pinged “from a south tower in Ephesus near Franklin, Georgia,” at 4:40 a.m. on July 5, according to Bishop. Since then, the phone has been turned off, something Bishop previously said was out of character for her sister.

Fox 5 reports that friends are now pushing for a grand jury to investigate Jones’ ex-boyfriend, Jonathan Lawrence, who’s currently behind bars for allegedly putting a hit out on a deputy in an unrelated case.

According to court documents, Lawrence was previously arrested for drug trafficking charges earlier this year but was not behind bars when Jones disappeared. He was wearing an ankle monitoring device at the time, in connection with the charge.

Friends started an online petition, explaining why they want Lawrence investigated more thoroughly.

“On the date of Natalie Jones disappearance, it was well known to Law Enforcement, that her ex-boyfriend, who she had met with the day prior, who was a prime witness in his drug trafficking case, who lived but a scant mile from his home, who he contacted the day of her disappearance … should have been considered a prime person of interest,” a petition reads.

Authorities said that so far, they have not found anything consistent with foul play. They are currently waiting on autopsy and toxicology reports.

Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: Natalie Jones/Facebook