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Now-dead man suspected in murder of Illinois family had lengthy criminal record

Suspect in Illinois family's murder had long criminal past
Suspect in Illinois family's murder had long criminal past 02:47

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The man suspected of murdering a family of four in Romeoville had a criminal past – which raises questions about how he got a hold of guns.

As CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini reported Thursday, Nathaniel Huey Jr.'s criminal past should have been a red flag – including a court order banning him from possessing firearms.

Nathaniel Huey Jr. Supplied to CBS 2

Huey also had a security company that we uncovered had no license to operate in the state of Illinois - and the woman he was with as fled the state may have been his final victim.

Huey, of Streamwood, was found dead after a fiery crash following a police pursuit in Oklahoma. He was identified as a person of interest within hours of the discovery of the shooting deaths. 

The four victims – Zoraida Bartolomei, 32; her husband Alberto Rolón, 38; and their sons Adriel, 9, and Diego, 7 – were found dead inside the home in the 500 block of Concord Avenue in Romeoville on Sunday night. The family's dogs were also found dead on Sunday.

Alberto Rolon, 38, and Zoraida Bartolomei, 32, and their two children taken several years ago.  Go Fund Me

Romeoville police issued a bulletin to other law enforcement agencies identifying Huey as a credible person of interest in the shooting deaths. Huey was said to have extensive firearms training, according to a police bulletin CBS 2 obtained.

Then, Wednesday morning, police in Catoosa, Oklahoma, found a vehicle connected to the suspect and attempted to stop it. The vehicle did not stop and tried to elude police. The chase ended in a single-car crash on Interstate 44, and the suspect vehicle caught fire. Video of the crash scene appears to show an SUV with significant damage on the highway.

Officers at the scene then heard two gunshots and found a woman with a gunshot wound. She was listed in critical condition and later died at the hospital, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Huey was also found with a gunshot wound in the driver's side of the vehicle.

 The man at the center of the mass murder of Romeoville family, Nathaniel Huey now dead after police chase in Oklahoma that ended in a fiery crash. Police say after the crash they heard what sounded like gunshots from inside the car. Huey was dead at the scene and the female

The woman in the car – 50-year-old Ermalinda Palomo of Streamwood – was described on Huey's Facebook page as his wife.

Ermalinda Palomo Supplied to CBS 2

Palomo had been reported missing by her family on Tuesday. Her family said she was only engaged to Huey, and she had five children and five grandchildren of her own. 

An attorney for Palomo's family says she was upset when Huey picked her up after the murders, and then left with her in his car.

"She was saying things such as, 'Tell everyone I love them, you know, 'Take care of my grandbabies,'" said attorney John Paul Ivec.

The family attorney said Palomo was not present for the Romeoville killings. He said she was asleep in her bed in Streamwood at the time.

Suspect in murder of Illinois family had guns despite crtiminal past 02:34

Meanwhile, Huey had been on police radar for years. The CBS 2 Investigators uncovered one court document from 2017 stating he was to refrain from possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapons.

That order came after a history of numerous arrests - including a 2016 battery and multiple several DUIs, including an aggravated DUI in 2017.

In the 2017 case, we found Huey spent at least 30 days in the Cook County Jail – and was then he put on house arrest, followed by probation for two years.

But on Huey's Facebook page, he publicly flaunted his arsenal of weapons, trying to get people to hire his security company called Black Bear Security.

We found despite his record, Huey continued to have guns. We also found that company was never licensed by Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Ivec was stunned when he heard about Huey obtaining firearms despite his background.

"Well, that's awful," he said. "Obviously, it's awful."

The attorney said police have not told the family many details yet.

"As far as for her death, it's been ruled a homicide," Ivec said. "She was shot in the head."

The Palomo family also grieving, Ivec said.

"They've lost their mother. They've lost their grandmother," Ivec said, "and so it's going to take a long time to process. They will never be over that."

Ivec said Palomo's family believes Huey may have worked with Alberto Rolón.

"The family is in shock and grieving," Ivec said.

We've also learned Huey had three young children of his own. They live with their mother, who said Huey had not seen them in over a year.

Neighbors still shaken with no known motive for murder of Illinois family 02:25

Back in Romeoville Thursday, police cleared out the home of the slain Rolón-Bartolomei family – taking more evidence, and leaving neighbors with more questions.

A tow truck picked up the cars from the home, police removed their yellow barriers, and a crew boarded up the windows.

One by one, all signs of the tragedy here disappeared, except for the growing memorials now showing the faces of the family killed inside.

We talked to a woman dropping off flowers. She didn't want to be on camera, but she told CBS 2's Sara Machi her sons go to the same school as the boys who were killed. They were all supposed to meet in their shared classroom at the school's open house Wednesday night.

Police in Romeoville do have an officer stationed to keep watch over the Rolón-Bartolomei house. Neighbors told us they want just want to be able to sleep at night - and they say that won't happen until there are answers about a motive in the grisly crime.

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