Man suspected of killing four in DuPage and then himself
A man who investigators believe killed his girlfriend and three others Tuesday morning before setting fire to their home in DuPage County was found dead in South suburban Dolton, authorities said.
Cedric Anderson, 42, died of an apparent suicide in his father's home about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, said Thomas Ahern, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Anderson was wanted for questioning in connection with a Tuesday morning blaze and the deaths of Ursula Nailor, 37; her two sons, Darnell Holt, 16, and Daniel Nailor, 13; and her niece, 19-year-old Dominique Robinson of Bolingbrook.
The victims' bodies were discovered after the fire in Nailor's home in an unincorporated area between Villa Park and Oakbrook Terrace.
Ahern said investigators believe Anderson, who was Ursula Nailor's boyfriend and occasionally lived at the home, shot all four victims and then set the house on fire.
By the time investigators tracked him down on a search warrant issued out of DuPage County, Anderson already had left a suicide note and killed himself, Ahern said. Anderson also had a drug possession case pending in Cook County.
The ATF will continue investigating the fire on the 0S700 block of Summit Avenue north of Roosevelt Road as part of the DuPage County sheriff's office's fire investigation task force, he said.
The DuPage County coroner's office removed the bodies from the scene about 2 p.m. Tuesday for autopsies that will be conducted today, authorities said.
Those autopsies are expected to determine for certain whether all four victims were shot and, if so, whether the same gun was used, a law enforcement official close to the investigation said. It was difficult to say for certain that all four people were shot, the source said, because their bodies were so badly burned.
Authorities also are awaiting forensics tests to determine what kind of accelerant was used to start the fire, although the same source said a gasoline can was found at the scene.
There was no record of domestic problems involving the couple in DuPage County, the law enforcement source said, but investigators are still trying to determine the depth of their relationship.
Friends and family of the victims gathered outside the one-story brick house after the grisly discovery, and officials at the schools Darnell and Daniel attended said they were preparing to help their students cope with the tragedy.
Willowbrook High School officials said counseling will be available throughout the week for students and staff affected by Darnell's death.
"This is a tragedy when it happens for any school, and our hearts go out to his family," Willowbrook spokeswoman Dani Schweigert said.
Kyle Rushing, a Willowbrook freshman, said he had been looking forward to seeing Darnell, also a freshman, at school after a three-day weekend.
"I'm going to miss him," Rushing said. "To come back to this is heartbreaking."
Darnell was an athlete at Willowbrook and Rushing said the boys basketball team prayed for him before practice Tuesday.
Daniel was a seventh-grader at Albright Middle School in Villa Park. Salt Creek Elementary District 48 Superintendent John Correll said the district will bring extra social workers to school Wednesday and is assuring parents through phone calls and notes sent home that the service will be available for students dealing with grief.
"He was a well-liked student," Correll said about Daniel. "He had lots of friends at school and will be missed by a lot of teachers and students."
The boys' mother, Ursula Nailor, had been a school bus driver for Chicago-based Falcon Transportation Co. since 2006.
She usually was at work by 6 a.m., her boss, Ed Peterson, said. When she didn't arrive Tuesday, her fellow employees were uneasy.
"She was a nice lady," he said. "It's tragic. She's dead and her kids are dead."
Hot-spots in the fire smoldered for hours after most of the blaze was contained, and several windows were broken on the ranch-style home.
Myron and Ann Bendera, who live next-door to the victims, said the family had lived on Summit for about three years.
"They were very polite people," Ann Bendera said. "They've always been very quiet."
• Daily Herald staff writers Elisabeth Mistretta and Josh Stockinger contributed to this report.