South Carolina man confesses to 2001 murder in Bessemer, brings police to remains
BESSEMER, Ala. (WBRC) - Bessemer Police say a man has been arrested for the murder of a woman that happened more than 21 years ago, after he confessed.
Bessemer Police Lt. Christian Clemons calls it a “once-in-a-career type situation.”
Police say South Carolina native Brian Jones traveled across state lines to admit the killing of 41-year-old Janet Luxford in February of 2001.
“He took a bus from South Carolina to Birmingham-area and he sat outside of our station until he finally got up the nerve to give us a call,” said Lt. Clemons.
Jones walked into the Bessemer Police Department on Sunday, March 27, prepared to admit what happened.
Lt. Clemons relayed to WBRC what Jones told them: “So 21 years ago, Mr. Jones was here working as a day laborer. He and Ms. Luxford were boyfriend-girlfriend. She wanted to get money to go back to home, which is California, to see her folks and from that, an argument started to which he described got out of hand and he ended up hitting her with a club in the throat.”
Jones said that her death was accidental, and that it happened during a fight at a motel in the 1100 block of 9th Avenue Southwest in Bessemer.
The next day, on Monday, March 28, police says Jones led them to where he left her remains near Harmer Street and Valley Creek in Bessemer. That’s where they found a green suitcase filled with Luxford’s skeletal remains.
The Jefferson County Coroner’s office is currently looking for medical records and using DNA to help identify the remains. Police say the process could take as long as nine months.
Luxford was listed as missing in September of 2002 by her daughter, about a year and a half after the killing.
Lt. Clemons explained that Luxford worked in Jacksonville, Florida before coming to Bessemer to be with Jones.
“No one seemed to have really seen her last in Bessemer, and that’s usually where missing persons investigations start,” he added. That’s why nobody knew to look for the woman in the Birmingham area.
“It’s not a homicide that we even had on our radar,” said Lt. Clemons. “It’s something that he committed here 21 years ago and nobody knew that it happened besides him.”
Jones has been charged with murder and abuse of a corpse. He was taken to the Jefferson County Jail and is being held on a $765,000 bond.
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