Florida Landlord Confesses to Killing Family of Four, Burning Bodies in Fire Pit

By Madz Dizon

Jun 20, 2024 05:51 AM EDT

Florida Landlord Confesses to Killing Family of Four, Burning Bodies in Fire Pit
A businessman from Ghana was discovered dead at his hotel in Seoul on Tuesday. He was in South Korea to attend an event related to the Korea-Africa Summit.
(Photo : Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

A Florida landlord has been charged with murder for the horrific crime of allegedly killing a family of four, which tragically included two young children aged 5 and 6. The bodies were reportedly burned in the backyard fire pit.

Authorities Discover Human Remains in Fire Pit During Search for Missing Family

Based on the affidavit acquired from the Clark County Clerk's office, Pasco County deputies initiated a search for Rain Mancini, Phillip Zilliot II, Karma Zilliot, and Phillip Zilliot III following a welfare check request on June 13.

According to Fox News, a concerned resident contacted the authorities when his brother informed him that Rory Atwood, a 25-year-old individual, had reached out and asked for assistance in disposing of some burning trash.

According to the affidavit, the brother informed the caller about a distressing scene he witnessed during the video call. He described seeing a puddle of blood and the presence of both adult and child bodies.

Upon the arrival of law enforcement at Atwood's residence in Hudson, Florida, he reportedly claimed to have "no knowledge" of the family's disappearance.

During a search of the property, authorities discovered a fire pit in the backyard containing burned debris at the base.

Officials discovered "small skeletal remains," soft tissue, and two human vertebrae in the fire pit, thanks to the assistance of a cadaver dog.

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Suspect Claims Self-Defense in Fatal Altercation with Evicted Family

As per the sheriff's statement, Atwood stated in an interview with investigators that 12 days after he evicted the family, the two adults unexpectedly arrived at his home and assaulted him with a knife and a gun.

The Pasco Sheriff provided an explanation stating that the suspect alleged shooting both Mancini and Phillip Zilliot II during a physical altercation.

According to his account, he moved both individuals to the backyard, where he claimed there was already a fire burning, in order to dispose of their bodies.

It has been claimed that Atwood confessed to burning a sofa in the fire pit and disposing of the gun used in the shooting of the couple. Based on reports, it is claimed that he expressed his belief that the couple's two missing children had tragically perished in the fire.

The suspect claimed to the police that he had a belief that the children were killed by their parents prior to entering his residence, The Western Journal reported.

Investigators found Atwood's account of the events to be unconvincing and subsequently arrested him. According to the Sheriff, he is facing first-degree murder charges in connection with the case of an individual known as "John Doe."

Atwood entered a plea of not guilty to the charge of murder during his first court appearance on Monday (June 17). Currently, he is being held in custody without the option of bail.

READ MORE: Florida McDonald's Employee Arrested for Shooting at Drive-Through Customers After Dispute

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