Son charged with first-degree murder

Local News

PEORIA COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell confirmed Monday night that Princeville couple Susan B. Brill De Ramirez and Antonio Ramirez Barron are dead and their son, 21-year-old Jose Ramirez, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. 

Additionally, Princeville resident 20-year-old Matthew Roberts has been arrested for concealment of homicidal death and obstruction of justice. 

The two had previously been reported missing, after police responded to a residential burglary and missing persons complaint at approximately 9:00 p.m. Sunday at 22918 N Maher Rd. in Princeville. The missing persons status has been changed to a recovery effort, working with the Department of Natural Resources to find the bodies.

Officials are searching for the bodies around Henry County, north of Kewanee. 

“We don’t expect any further arrests in relation to this event,” Asbell said. 

Susan and Antonio, who were both 63, were first reported missing Sunday night, but were last reported seen Thursday at work. They both worked at Bradley University.

Asbell said officials believe they died early Friday. 

At the Monday afternoon press conference, Asbell noted they were in the process of interviewing suspects. He said a family member called from the home to report the complaint. 

Asbell had said he believed foul play was involved, and there was evidence at the scene that an act of violence occurred at the house. He also said blood was found at the residence, and some items were missing.

“We do know both vehicles were at home, so we’re not looking for a missing vehicle,” Asbell said. 

Bradley University President Gary Roberts sent an internal email to faculty and students which encouraged anyone with information to reach out to the police, and to provide support for one another.

“We are extremely saddened to report the Peoria County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a missing persons case involving two Bradley employees. The case involves Dr. Susan Brill de Ramirez, Caterpillar Professor of English & Coordinator of Graduate Studies and her husband Antonio Ramirez Barron, a Technology Support Specialist in IRT. The pair was reported missing from their home on Sunday evening. If you or anyone you know has information, please contact the BUPD at 309-677-2000, Peoria County Sheriff’s Department at 309-697-7822 or Crimestoppers at 309-673-9000. Please be sure to check on your colleagues and support one another as the Bradley family deals with this situation.”

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