Anthony Craig Jones was known around the Irving area for almost four decades as a local homeless person that residents often saw as they drove or walked through town. He was most likely mentally ill, but was a peaceful person.
His body was discovered last month in a building on a property across from an elementary school. The medical examiner estimated that he had been dead for about six months. He was identified using his dental records.
No one knows exactly what happened, but Jones was found under a blanket in a sleeping position. His death is not currently considered a homicide, and there is no information about any involvement with drugs and/or alcohol. He was estimated to be in his late 50’s at the time of discovery.
Those who knew him have said that he was a good guy with a lot of problems and no real resources.
“Anthony was a special spirit and it saddens me to hear of the manner in which he was discovered deceased in the old African American Community of Bear Creek recently,” said Anthony Bond, who is a leading Irving civil rights activist and founder of the Irving Chapter of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). “Most of the black residents in Bear Creek, both on the Irving and Grand Prairie side, were familiar with, or knew Anthony. Jesus loves the homeless like Anthony just as much as He loves all of His children.
“I pray that Anthony’s passing will awaken the desire in us here in the City of Irving to do more for our growing homeless neighbors. Irving needs some transitional housing [or something similar] for the homeless,” Bond said.
A Memorial was held for Jones on Saturday, August 8, arranged by Irving City Councilman Dennis Webb, who is also the pastor of Bear Creek Community Church. Webb also officiated. Many citizens came out to remember and pay their respects for Anthony’s life.
Former Irving City Councilwoman Sharon Barbosa-Crain said, “No one should die all alone like Anthony did, and that we here in the City of Irving can and must do better in looking out for our homeless neighbors.”
Pastor Webb has created a GoFundMe account to raise money for services for the homeless in Irving in hopes to avoid another situation like Anthony Jones.
**Slideshow of pictures from the Memorial provided by Anthony Bond**