Plainfield attorney says woman had ‘nothing to do’ with Romeoville murders

Attorney identifies woman who died in Oklahoma police chase, says police did not shoot

A small memorial of candles and flowers seen on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, in front of the residence in the 500 block of Concord Avenue in Romeoville. On Sunday, Sept. 17, officers discovered the bodies of Alberto Rolon, 38, Zoraida Bartolomei, 32, and their two sons, ages 7 and 9, inside the residence. Police are investigating their deaths as homicides.

The woman who died in the police chase for the suspect in the slaying of a Romeoville family was not involved in the murders, a family attorney said Thursday.

Ermalinda Palomo, 50, of Streamwood was “a grandmother and a mother with no criminal history,” Plainfield attorney JohnPaul Ivec said. “She’s a victim, too.”

Palomo was “shot in the head” and died in a Tulsa, Oklahoma, hospital Wednesday, Ivec said, relating information he received from her family.

“The family wants to make it clear that Emalinda had nothing to with the murders,” Ivec said. “They are grieving and in shock.”

Ermalinda Palomo

Romeoville police found Alberto Rolon, 38, Zoraida Bartolomei, 32, and their two sons dead in their home in the 500 block of Concord Place on Sunday night. Three family dogs also were killed.

Palomo lived with Nathaniel Huey Jr., 31, of Streamwood, who was identified as a potential suspect by Romeoville police by Tuesday.

The two of them were in a vehicle in Catoosa, Oklahoma, when local police tried to stop them Wednesday, police said. The vehicle, apparently driven by Huey, fled onto Interstate 44, where it crashed into a concrete barrier.

Both died from gunshot wounds, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations.

Police have not said who fired the shots, but Ivec said that it was not the police from what he has heard from Palomo’s family.

“She was shot in the head,” Ivec said of Palomo. “She was taken to the hospital. She did not shoot herself.”

Attorney JohnPaul Ivec, who represents the family of Ermalinda Palomo, prepares for a press conference on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in which he said Palomo had nothing to do with the murders of a Romeoville family of four on Sunday.

‘She was not involved’

Palomo had no connection to the Romeoville family that was killed Sunday, Ivec said. Huey may have had a connection with one of the family members through their work, he said.

While police provided no details about Huey, the Illinois Secretary of State website identifies a Nathaniel Coleman Huey Jr. of Streamwood as the agent representing the firm Black Bear Security in Streamwood among its listings of Illinois companies registered with the state.

The Secretary of State website gives the same Sumac Drive address for Huey as a Romeoville police bulletin issued Tuesday identifying him as a suspect.

Oklahoma authorities have not officially identified the two people who died in the police chase out of Catoosa on Wednesday.

But Romeoville police on Wednesday said Huey appeared to be one of the two people dead in the incident. They did not identify the woman.

Romeoville police said Huey died of a gunshot wound and they identified the woman in the vehicle only as a “person of interest.”

Ivec said those words were “very unfortunate.”

“I’m here to say she was not involved,” he said.

Family members said Palomo was home in Streamwood when the Romeoville murders occurred, Ivec said.

Romeoville police only identified Huey as a suspect in a bulletin that was issued Tuesday.

“He is aware that police are investigating him for this offense and his behavior has become irrational and erratic,” the Romeoville police bulletin said. “Nathaniel stopped going to work, has driven recklessly to follow police involved in the investigation, and his whereabout are now unknown.”

The same bulletin listed Huey’s vehicle as a GMC Envoy and its license plate number, providing information that apparently led to the police pursuit in Oklahoma.

Police officers stage outside a home on the 500 block of Concord Avenue where police found the bodies of two adults and two children with gunshot wounds on Monday, Sept. 18, in Romeoville.

Romeoville Deputy Police Chief Chris Burne was asked to confirm the names and manner of death of the man and woman in the crash on Thursday afternoon and said “no further information is being released today.”

The Oklahama State Bureau of Investigation on Thursday would say nothing beyond what was in a news release issued Wednesday.

According to that release, police in Catoosa found the vehicle, which was identified in police alerts from Illinois, but it was unoccupied at the time. When a man and woman returned to the vehicle and drove away, Catoosa police tried to make a stop, but the vehicle sped away.

Catoosa police pursued the vehicle onto I-44, where it hit a concrete barrier and came to a stop.

“Officers approached the vehicle and removed a female passenger, who was transported to a local hospital,” according to a news release from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. “She later succumbed to her injuries. The male driver was pronounced dead at the scene.”

According to the state bureau, the identities of the two people and how they died would be determined by the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which did not return calls Thursday seeking more information.

Reporter Felix Sarver contributed to this story.