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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Amelia Neath

Suspect in Illinois family-of-four’s murder suddenly ‘switched’ and ‘acting suspiciously’ before killings

Romeoville police department

The suspect in the murder of an Illinois family-of-four suddenly “switched” and started acting suspiciously in the lead-up to the killings, according to a woman who lived with him.

Nathaniel Huey Jr, 32, was deemed to be a “credible suspect” in the murders of Alberto Rolo, 38, and Zorinda Bartolomei, 32, their two sons, aged seven and nine, and the family’s three dogs in their home over the weekend. The family was found dead on Sunday night with the murders believed to have taken place between 9pm Sunday and 5am Monday.

On Wednesday, police tracked down a car connected to Huey to an interstate in Catoosa, Oklahoma, and tried to perform a traffic stop, but the vehicle swerved and crashed.

Two gunshots were then heard from inside the car, a statement from police said.

Police found Huey deceased inside the car with an unnamed woman in the passenger seat.

The woman had also been shot and was taken to hospital in critical condition where she later died from her injuries.

Police are yet to confirm the identity of the woman who is described as a person of interest in the case.

But John Paul Ivec, an attorney representing her family, identified the woamn as Ermalinda Palomo to ABC News.

Neighbours have said Palomo and Huey lived in Streamwood together for about the past six years.

Palomo’s daughter Christina Espinoza, 25, has spoken out to say that Huey was a “very dangerous man”.

Ms Espinoza told NBC News that her mother had dated Huey for about eight years and the three of them had lived together since then.

Before the attorney’s comments, Ms Espinoza confirmed that her mother – who she did not want to name – was the woman in the vehicle with Huey.

Ms Espinoza told NBC News that Huey was “very dangerous” and a “a huge manipulator” whose behaviour had changed in recent months.

The family of four had just moved into a quiet residential area few months ago before all being killed in their new home
— (GoFundMe)

“He’s a very dangerous man. He’s a huge manipulator. A huge manipulator,” she said of her mother’s partner.

“When I first met him, he wasn’t too bad of a guy. A couple of months ago, something switched.

“He was shutting all of us out, including my mom, and now this.”

She added: “He started becoming suspicious... keeping to himself, staying in the garage. He started not being himself, pushing us all away, even my mom.”

She said that Huey had once owned a security company and had access to multiple weapons. He more recently worked at a machinery warehouse.

Nathaniel Huey in mug shot
— (Romeoville police department)

Ms Espinoza said that she had filed a missing persons report for her mother on Tuesday afternoon because she was growing concerned for her safety as she revealed she was scared and crying when she last saw her.

“I know she left with him willingly about 4 pm Tuesday,” Ms Espinoza said. “When I saw her, she was scared. She was crying. I was in contact with her. We knew where she was. I was begging for her to come home. I honestly feel she left to protect her family.”

Ms Palomo’s family attorney said that her family reported her missing after her phone was shut off after a series of concerning text messages were sent.

“And, they thought that she sounded scared. But, they don’t have any direct information other than, ‘Take care of my grand babies,’” said the attorney, according to ABC.

Romeoville Police confirmed that a missing/endangered persons report had been filed by the family of the unnamed woman before she was later found in the car with Huey.

Ms Espinoza said she has spoken to investigators about Huey and her mother, but declined to tell NBC what agency the investigators worked for.

Romeoville Police have stressed that despite identifying Huey as a suspect, their investigation is still ongoing.

The Independent has contacted the Romeoville Police Department for further comment.

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