The killer or killers is at large, and the motive is not clear.
“Upon arrival, officers discovered four deceased individuals with gunshot wounds. The deceased have been identified as Alberto Rolon and Zoralda Bartolomei and two children. Preliminary investigation leads police to believe this happened between 9 pm on Saturday evening and 5 am on Sunday morning,” a Facebook post from the Village of Romeoville reads.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Romeoville Police Found the Family When the Family Members Did Not Show Up for Work
On Sunday, September 17, 2023, at approximately 8:43 p.m., the Romeoville Police Department “was requested to conduct a well-being check on the 500 block of Concord Avenue. A member of the family did not show up for work at 6 am on the morning of Sunday, September 17 and did not respond to phone calls throughout the day, resulting in family members becoming concerned,” the post from the village of Romeoville reads.
The investigation “is still in its early stages. Due to the sensitivity of the case and to maintain the integrity of the investigation, no further details will be released at this time. Anyone with information should contact the Romeoville Police Department at 815-886-7219,” the post continues.
In an earlier post, the police wrote that the department “was requested to conduct a well-being check on the 500 block of Concord Avenue. Upon arrival, officers discovered four deceased individuals (two adults and two children) with gunshot wounds.”
Police took a window and computer screen from the home, according to CBS Chicago journalist Darius Johnson.
2. The Deceased Include 2 Boys Ages 7 & 9 Years Old
In another statement the police chief, Chris Burne, wrote, “I do want to clarify some information about the victims. The four victims are 38-year old Alberto Rolon, 32-year old Zoraida Bartolomei, and their two male children ages 7 and 9.”
“Our entire community is grieving with the family over this tragic incident,” Mayor John Noak said in a statement posted to Facebook.
“It is always heartbreaking whenever there is a loss of life, but when there are children involved it’s much more painful. I have directed our social services staff to make themselves available to our community to help begin the healing process. It is important that we conduct a thorough investigation and we have committed our full resources to that task. The victims deserve that.”
3. The Romeoville Police Chief Says the Murders Were Not a ‘Random Incident’
Deputy Chief of Police Chris Burne wrote in a statement that police do not believe the murders were a “random incident.”
“This incident is the police department’s top priority. All officers and professional staff have been working tirelessly on this case,” he wrote on Facebook.
“Our detectives and crime-scene investigators have spent the last 36-hours collecting a tremendous amount of physical evidence. We were able to determine that this was not a random incident and there was no cause for a shelter-in-place order. The Will County Major Crimes Task Force has been brought in to assist our investigators with gathering evidence and reviewing video.”
He said that police are seeking ring-doorbell footage from people in the area.
Police do not believe the deaths are a murder suicide, according to The New York Daily News.
4. Alberto Rolon Was Remembered as a ‘Kind Human Being’ Whose ‘Quiet Presence Was Always Felt’
Jose Morales, who used to be a pastor to the family, asked people to keep them in their prayers.
“This is so tragic, beyond words. My heart aches so much for the whole family, especially for the parents of Alberto (‘Tito’), two of the kindest people on the planet,” he wrote on Facebook.
“Juan Rodriguez and I were pastors to the Rolon family many years ago, when they were members at Iglesia del Pueblo (now Hope Christian Church ).”
Morales added: “Tito was a kind human being. He was strong (in the best sense of this word), kind, and wise, even as a young man in his 20s. He never spoke much, but you knew when he was in the room. His quiet presence was always felt. I never met his wife and kids, but his siblings shared only wonderful things about Zoraida and the kids.”
He added: “Many of you—on my friends list who move in the same church circle, ie Disciples of Christ)—know Tito’s brother, Eli Rolon Jeong who is on Regional staff in Illinois-Wisconsin. A family member/friend has started a GoFund Me, to help pay for funeral arrangements for all four!”
5. A GoFundMe Page Says Alberto Rolon & Zoraida Bartolomei Were ‘Hardworking People’
A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family with funeral expenses.
“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,” it says.
“These were hardworking people that had just bought their first home. Their kids were the sweetest most innocent angels who could hug your worries away,” the page says. “In just a few hours their lives, their family’s lives completely changed. The world is going to be a much dimmer place without them.”
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Jessica McBride is a news reporter covering breaking news, politics and crime for Heavy. She is a former reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Waukesha Freeman newspapers in Wisconsin and is a senior journalism instructor at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. More about Jessica McBride