Kansas to pay family of murder victim

State of Kansas to pay $1 million to 7-year-old boy’s family years after murder, abuse case.



March 15, 2024 - 3:18 PM

TOPEKA — The state of Kansas will pay $1 million to the family of a 7-year-old who was tortured and killed, settling an almost decade-long legal battle over the state’s child welfare agency’s failure to remove the child before his death.

Adrian Jones’ case made headlines in 2015, when his remains were found in a pigsty outside the family’s Kansas City, Kansas, home, after he had been severely abused by his father and stepmother, starved to death and fed to pigs.

In 2017, his family members filed suit against Missouri social workers, the Kansas Department for Children and Families, the state itself, then-director of DCF Phyllis Gilmore, and the Family Guidance Center of St. Joseph, along with others involved in the case.

Adrian lived in Plattsburg, Missouri, before moving to Kansas, and social workers in both states were aware of his situation. Filed in both Missouri and Kansas, the civil lawsuits alleged child welfare workers failed to take action despite extensive documentation of Adrian’s abuse.

“A.J.’s mistreatment was the repeated subject of a seemingly endless series of reports and hotline calls to social workers and social service agencies in both Missouri and Kansas,” the lawsuit reads. “But instead of responding by permanently removing the child from his home, the agencies and social workers took a strangely different approach: They meticulously investigated and carefully documented every violent kick, punch, slap, and injury inflicted upon A.J. by his sadistic father and stepmother, and generated stacks of records and reports chronicling the ceaseless, stomach-churning abuse.”

On the Kansas side, a district court trial was set for 2025, but Gov. Laura Kelly and Kansas legislative leadership publicly announced the $1 million settlement Wednesday through a resolution.