A man shot his girlfriend, her two sons and niece to death as they slept in their beds early Tuesday morning before setting their home on fire and driving to his parents' home, where he killed himself, officials said.
The body of Cedric Anderson, 42, was found in an apartment in Dolton, hours after a "suspicious" fire ravaged a home in unincorporated Villa Park, said the ATF's Tom Ahern.
Those killed in the fire, which broke out just after 7 a.m. at 0S072 Summit Ave. near Roosevelt Road, were a mother, her two teenaged sons and her niece. They were identified by friends and relatives as Ursula Nailor, 37; Darnell Holt, 16; Dan Nailor, 13; and Dominique Robinson, 19.
"He always made me laugh. ... When I was mad he'd always say something to make me smile," B.J. Cotten said of Holt, his teammate on the Willowbrook High School football team.
Friends said Dan went to Albright Middle School in Villa Park.
Nailor’s boss, Ed Peterson, said he became concerned when she didn’t show up for her job as a school bus driver this morning.
She’d worked for his company, Falcon Transportation, driving Chicago schoolkids from Newberry and Brown schools since 2006 and was an exemplary worker and mom, he said.
"She talked about her teenage boys all the time," he said. "It’s a tragedy."
Nailor’s mom was boarding a plane to Chicago from Selma, Ala., on Tuesday afternoon. She said her daughter was planning to move the family to Alabama when she died.
"I have no idea what happened," she said. "We’re trying to find out."
DuPage County officials investigating the fire almost immediately called it "suspicious" in origin. They sent in accelerant-sniffing dogs to look for gas or kerosene that may have spread the fire more quickly throughout the home.
The fire was contained in the house with only broken windows and a hole in the roof visible from outside.
Neighbor Myron Bendara said the family had lived in the home for about three years.
"When I walked out this morning all I saw was billowing smoke out of the structure. There was no flames of any kind that I could see," he said.