Two individuals suspected in the tragic slaying of an Illinois family of four were found shot inside a vehicle in Oklahoma a few days following the horrifying incident, authorities revealed on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old man, Nathaniel Huey Jr. from Streamwood, Illinois, and Ermalinda Palomo were initially considered persons of interest in the case shortly after the discovery of two adults, two children, and three dogs deceased inside a Romeoville residence over the weekend.
The woman, who was connected to Huey, was reported missing and potentially dangerous by her family in Streamwood on Tuesday, prompting Romeoville police to issue a statewide bulletin.
On Wednesday morning, a digital license plate reader system flagged a vehicle believed to be associated with the duo in Catoosa, Oklahoma, according to police.
Law enforcement in the area tried to pull the vehicle over, but the driver promptly attempted to flee, leading to a single-car collision,” Deputy Chief Chris Burne of Romeoville Police stated during a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
The vehicle eventually caught fire, and officers present reported hearing what they suspected to be two gunshots. Upon further investigation, they found Huey deceased in the driver’s seat, and the woman critically injured in the passenger seat.
Both had sustained gunshot wounds.
This investigation is ongoing and the situation continues to develop,” Burne stated. He refrained from providing details about the connection between Huey and the family, but mentioned that evidence “indicates a link between our suspect and the victims, along with a potential motive.”
He chose not to elaborate on the possible motive. This update follows several days of uncertainty regarding the distressing incident in the Chicago outskirts. The tragic events began when authorities were summoned to the residence on Concord Avenue, in the 500 block, at approximately 8:43 p.m. on Sunday for a well-being check.
“Authorities suspect the shooting took place sometime between 9 p.m. on Saturday and 5 a.m. on Sunday. Burne explained that a family member, who was expected at work by 6 a.m. on Sunday, didn’t appear.
Moreover, this person didn’t answer calls throughout the day, prompting worry among family members. When officers reached the residence, they found four deceased individuals – two adults and two children – all with gunshot wounds.”
“Based on a recent police update, investigators concluded that the shootings were not a random occurrence, and assured that there was no present danger to the community. Law enforcement personnel devoted extensive time to gathering physical evidence from the scene.
They also acquired surveillance footage from various sources, which played a pivotal role in the ongoing investigation. The adult victims were named as Alberto Rolon and Zoraida Bartolomei, as confirmed by Romeoville police.”
“The two youngsters, aged 7 and 9, though not named yet, were both enrolled at Robert C. Hill Elementary School, as stated by Valley View Community Unit School District 365U.
Following the tragic loss of these students, the district activated its crisis response protocol. This involves deploying a dedicated Crisis Intervention Team, consisting of qualified experts like counselors, social workers, and psychologists, to offer assistance to students requiring support.”