'Daddy I love you': Heartbreaking last words of 8yo US girl allegedly murdered by her father

A mugshot of a man in an orange prison jumpsuit
Timothy Jones Jr Photo credit: Lexington County Sheriff

Warning: This article contains distressing content.

A US man is facing the death penalty for allegedly strangling his five young children in their Alabama home.

On day seven of Timothy Jones Jr's trial this week, the court heard his eldest daughter's tragic last words, before she was murdered

"Daddy I love you."

The 37-year-old computer software engineer confessed he murdered his children, six-year-old Nahtahn, eight-year-old Merah, seven-year-old Elias, two-year-old Gabriel and one-year-old Abigail in August 2014.

He is pleading not guilty by way of insanity, claiming he has undiagnosed schizophrenia.

US news site The State reports he told police he used a belt to strangle his two youngest children, as his hands were too large to wrap around their necks.

Pictures of the five children
Top left to bottom right: Abigail Elizabeth, Gabriel, Nahtahn, Elias and Merah Photo credit: Lexington County Sheriff

After he murdered his children, prosecutors say Jones stuffed their bodies into bin bags before loading them into his car and driving around with their bodies for over a week.

Jones drove aimlessly through four states with the bodies of his children decomposing in his car, reports The State.

He then dumped the bags in a remote forest. Jones was arrested a day later after a police officer noticed the smell of death coming from his vehicle after a traffic stop.

Digital forensic examiner Michael Phipps told the court Jones' internet searches on his phone showed he had been searching 'where to flee if you are in legal trouble', 'where synthetic marijuana is legal', 'bodies in landfills' and 'schizophrenia'.

While on the run, Jones received dozens of messages from his ex-wife, friends, relatives, teachers and babysitters begging to know where he and the children were.

In the days before and after the murders, he searched 'betrayal by my young children', and 'I feel betrayed by my young son, what should I do'.

If Jones is found not guilty by reason of insanity, he will be confined to a secure unit in the state mental hospital.

If he is found guilty, a second phase of the trial will decide whether he will get life in prison or be sentenced to death.