Joliet police reports state girlfriend was with suspect on day of Joliet mass shooting

Attorney says girlfriend is ‘every bit a victim’ in the incident

Kyleigh Cleveland-Singleton, 21, appears for an arraignment on obstruction of justice charges at the Will County Courthouse on Thursday, Feb. 8th 2024 in Joliet. The charges alleged she obstructed justice in the investigation and apprehension of her boyfriend, Romeo Nance, 23, whom police say was a suspect in the Jan. 21 mass shooting in Joliet.

A woman was allegedly with her boyfriend on the day he allegedly killed seven family members in a mass shooting in Joliet earlier this year, and her phone called his phone as he was fleeing to Mexico, according to newly released police reports.

The reports reveal the allegations that have led to the charges filed against Kyleigh Cleveland-Singleton, 21, the girlfriend of Joliet mass shooting suspect Romeo Nance, 23. A grand jury has twice indicted Cleveland-Singleton on felony charges of obstructing justice.

The Feb. 29 superseding indictment alleged Cleveland-Singleton knowingly provided false information to detectives to prevent the apprehension of Nance. The detectives were investigating the Jan. 21 fatal shooting of seven members of the Nance and Esters family. Among the victims were two teens, 16 and 14.

On Monday, Cleveland-Singleton’s defense attorney, Chuck Bretz, said his client had no idea the shooting would take place and she “took no part in causing harm to anybody.”

“She is a victim herself of the senseless violence that took place. I think that it’s completely inappropriate that she’s being charged in the way that she is,” Bretz said.

Bretz declined to comment when asked whether Cleveland-Singleton was a witness to the shootings and the allegations from the reports that her phone was calling Nance’s phone as he was fleeing to Mexico.

Bretz said based on his review of the case, he didn’t believe Cleveland-Singleton “committed any criminal offenses,” she was put “in a very bad situation” and she is a “every bit a victim.”

“I think there is not a legal or factual basis for the outstanding charges,” Bretz said.

Police walk along West Acres Road at the scene were multiple people were found dead in two homes on Monday, Jan. 22nd in Joliet.

As of Monday, no motive behind the shooting has been revealed.

Joliet police Sgt. Dwayne English said detectives continue to investigate the “factors surrounding this case with the hope to further shed light on a possible motive” but he was “unable to speculate on a specific known motive at this time.”

“Further information regarding Cleveland-Singleton’s involvement in this case came after our detectives conducted an extensive and methodical canvas of the crime scene and the immediate neighborhood,” English said.

Cleveland-Singleton was allegedly with Nance inside of a residence at 2225 W. Acres Road when Nance’s mother, Tameaka Nance, 47, and his uncle, William Esters II, 35, were shot to death, according to police reports obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request.

Nance had walked to 2212 W. Acres Road, where he killed five other family members, according to police reports.

“While some of this was occurring, [Cleveland-Singleton], who was believed to be outside in her vehicle, was in communication with [Nance] via four separate Facebook Messenger phone calls between 1203 and 1219 hours,” according to police reports.

Cleveland-Singleton was inside of a GMC Acadia that drove toward 2212 W. Acres Road and then back to 2225 W. Acres Road, police reports said. While outside 2225 W. Acres Road, she waited while Nance removed multiple boxes from the residence and put them inside of the GMC Acadia, according to police reports.

The reports indicate the GMC Acadia may be the same vehicle that detectives learned she bought at a used car dealership in Joliet the day before the shooting.

Following the Jan. 21 incident, Cleveland-Singleton and Nance “went their separate ways in different vehicles,” according to police reports.

While Cleveland-Singleton told detectives on Jan. 22 – the day after the shooting – that she didn’t have a cellphone, detectives learned her phone was in a garbage can at a Plainfield school, with the SIM card removed, according to police reports.

Police were able to obtain the phone and the SIM card.

Detectives discovered Cleveland-Singleton’s phone made multiple phone calls to a Verizon cellphone number that Nance bought after the Jan. 21 shooting, according to police reports. They found calls from her phone made to Nance’s phone on Jan. 22 as well, when Nance was fleeing toward Texas, according to police reports.

Nance apparently had a “destination of the border crossing of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico,” according to police reports.

The last call from Cleveland-Singleton’s phone to Nance’s phone was a roughly 18-minute call on the morning of Jan. 22, when Nance was traveling south on Interstate 30 and entering Texas, according to police reports.

At 7:45 p.m. Jan. 22, detectives met with Cleveland-Singleton. About 45 minutes later, the police department learned that Nance had taken his own life following a confrontation with Texas authorities, according to a Jan. 23 statement from Joliet police officials.

When detectives asked Cleveland-Singleton when she last spoke with Nance, she allegedly told them, “Yesterday, we went to the gym,” according to police reports. When asked about Nance’s phone number, she said the two “only communicate online.”

Detectives learned Cleveland-Singleton’s phone contained multiple phone calls, texts and Facebook Messenger messages with Nance’s T-Mobile phone between Oct. 11 and Jan. 21, according to police reports.

After Cleveland-Singleton was taken to the police department, a detective read her Miranda rights and then asked where “she slept two nights ago,” according to police reports.

Cleveland-Singleton responded with, “I want a lawyer,” and no further questions were asked of her, according to police reports.

After Cleveland-Singleton’s arrest, she was charged with obstructing justice, an offense not eligible for detention under the Pretrial Fairness Act. Nevertheless, Will County Chief Judge Dan Kennedy signed a warrant for her to be taken to jail and held there until her next court hearing.

Cleveland-Singleton was released from jail Jan. 25. Her case is scheduled for a pretrial hearing May 8.

Photos of the victims sits on the porch of their home from Romeo Nance mass shooting on Thursday, Feb. 8th 2024 in Joliet.