Police in Romeoville, Illinois, near Chicago, say they believe the identified the suspected killer of a man, woman, their two children and three dogs inside a home. (WGN/YouTube)
Chicago-area police say the suspect in a brutal shooting that killed a man, woman and their two children and three dogs was found dead in Oklahoma.
Romeoville police Deputy Chief Chris Burne told reporters that hours after the four people were found dead Sunday night, detectives identified 31-year-old Nathanial Huey Jr. as a person of interest. A female companion of Huey’s also was considered a person of interest.
Romeoville is a small town located about 30 miles southwest of Chicago. Huey and the woman are reportedly from Streamwood, around 40 miles north of Romeoville.
On Tuesday, the woman’s family reported her missing and endangered. Later that evening, police considered Huey a suspect and issued an alert to other law enforcement agencies for Huey, the woman and a vehicle they were believed to be driving. On Wednesday morning, license plate readers captured the vehicle in Cantoosa, Oklahoma — more than 600 miles away from where the killings occurred, Burne said.
Officers tried to conduct a traffic stop, but the vehicle fled. It crashed and caught fire, Burne said. As officers approached the vehicle they heard what sounded like two gunshots. They found Huey in the driver’s seat and the woman in the passenger’s seat, both suffering from gunshot wounds, Burne said. Huey was pronounced dead at the scene while the woman was rushed to the hospital where she’s listed in critical condition, according to Burne.
There is a connection between Huey and the victims and police have identified a possible motive for the killings, but Burne declined to elaborate, citing an active investigation “with some sensitivities.” Burne said they are not looking for any other suspects.
As Law&Crime previously reported, Romeoville police officers were called to a home for a well-being check shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday and found the four people and three dogs suffering from gunshot wounds.
“A member of the family did not show up for work at 6 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 17th, and did not respond to phone calls throughout the day, resulting in family members becoming concerned,” Burne said Monday.
Cops believe the murders happened sometime between 9 p.m. Saturday and 5 a.m. Sunday, Burne said.
The adult victims were identified as Alberto Rolon and Zoraida Bartolomei. Burne declined to name the two deceased kids, but said the two boys were 7 and 9 years old.
Mayor John Noak said the community is grieving with the family.
“It is always heartbreaking whenever there is a loss of life, but when there are children involved it’s much more painful,” he said.
Both boys attended R.C. Hill Elementary School in the Valley View School District, Superintendent Rachel Kinder wrote in a letter posted on the district’s website. The school district had a crisis intervention team and grief counselors on hand to help students.
“It is with deep sadness that we inform you about a recent loss to our VVSD school community. Today, on September 18th, 2023, we were informed that two of our R.C. Hill Elementary School students tragically lost their lives in a senseless act of gun violence at their residence in Romeoville,” Kinder wrote. “This violent incident and loss are sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school community.”
A small memorial of candles and flowers was left outside the home of the slayings, which left neighbors stunned, according to ABC affiliate WLS.
“It’s unnerving, very unnerving,” neighbor Dan Lugo told the TV station. “We moved out of the city to come out to this quiet area, which has always been quiet, and to come and something like this to happen, it’s pretty messed up.”
Neighbors told the outlet that Rolon worked at a beverage warehouse and would give his allotment of free beer to neighbors because the family didn’t drink.
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