A quiet community just outside of Chicago was turned upside down when a couple, their two young sons and three dogs were found shot dead inside their home.
Police were called in for a welfare check at the home in Romeoville, Illinois, on Sunday morning.
Officers arrived to find the bodies of Alberto Rolon, 38, Zoraida Bartolomei, 32, their two boys, aged 7 and 10, and their dogs.
Investigators determined that the victims died by homicide. The alleged killer was at large until Wednesday when a car linked to the person of interest was spotted by a license plate reader in Catoosa, Oklahoma, sparking a traffic stop.
Nathaniel Huey Jr, 31, of Streamwood, Illinois, and an unnamed woman were identified as “persons of interest” in the slayings.
When officers tried to stop the vehicle linked to Huey, it sped away, crashed and caught on fire. Officers on the scene reportedly “heard two noises believed to be gunshots,” Chief Burne said.
Officers found the man fatally shot in the driver’s seat as well as a critically wounded woman in the passenger seat.
Here is everything we know about the Rolon-Bartolomei family case:
‘Not a murder suicide’
Romeoville police were dispatched on Sunday (17 September) to check on the Rolon-Bartolomei family after relatives shared concern that one of the parents didn’t turn up for work that day.
In a press conference on Monday, police said family members called several times throughout the day to check on the adult, but there was no response.
Just before 9pm Sunday, officers carried out a welfare check at the family’s home on the residential 500 block of Concord Avenue.
The family of four were found dead of gunshot wounds – along with their three dogs.
Authorities believe the murders took place between 9pm Saturday and 5am Sunday.
“We do not believe the offender is among the victims. It is not a murder-suicide,” Deputy Chief Burne said at the time.
Following Wednesday’s update, Deputy Chief Burne did not say what the relationship was between Huey and the family, but said evidence “has shown us a nexus between our suspect and the victims, as well as a possible motive.”
‘Their kids were the sweetest most innocent angels’
The loss of the Rolon-Bartolomei family has shocked many friends and family members – with Bartolomei’s sister Bryana stepping forward and sharing her heartache with the community.
“I want to know what happened to my nephews, my sister, her husband and WHY?” Bartolomei’s sister Bryana wrote in a heartbreaking Facebook post.
In the description of a GoFundMe, Bryana wrote: “This fundraiser has been created with the aim of helping the Rolon-Bartolomei family with funeral expenses, as well as to create awareness of this ongoing case. Zoraida Bartolomei, Alberto Rolon, their kids Adriel & Diego (ages 10 & 7) were involved in a horrific crime that took their lives and shattered countless others.”
Bryana said her sister and brother-in-law had just brought their first home together and described the children as “the sweetest most innocent angels who could hug your worries away.”
“The world is going to be a much dimmer place without them,” she added.
She also pleaded for anyone with information on the killings to contact police.
The post was met with comments from the community sharing their condolences.
“We know her and your parents from church, we are so saddened by this horrible news. Prayers for you all,” one user said.
Another wrote: “My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.”
Neighbours were also grappling with the death of the family.
Lynn Phillips, who lives one door down from the home, told The Chicago Sun Times on Monday: “I’ve been crying on and off all day.”
Although she said she didn’t know the family well, Ms Phillips said they still had a good relationship.
“It was a mom and dad and a couple of kids. The parents would be outside working the yard, and we’d wave hi and bye, that kind of thing,” Ms Phillips said.
“Nothing unusual. We all keep to ourselves.”