Who Is Rory Atwood? Florida Landlord Kills Family of Four Including Two Children and Burns Their Bodies in Fire Pit After They Went Missing

Atwood told police he had argued with the parents over a gun before their deaths, according to a criminal complaint obtained by USA TODAY.

A Florida landlord shot and killed a family of four, including two young children, and burned their remains in the fire pit of the home they shared, police said on Tuesday. Rain Mancini, 26, Phillip Zilliot II, 25, and their children Karma, 6, and Phillip III, 5, went missing on June 12 in Pasco County, Florida.

Rory Atwood, 25, has since confessed to murdering the "transient" family following a dispute with the parents, whom he had been friends with since high school. He has been charged with one count of first-degree murder. The family was last seen in the Nottingham Trail area of Hudson on June 12 around 12:30 am.

Burnt to Death Beyond Recognition

Rory Atwood
Rory Atwood Facebook

"If there wasn't evil in this world, we wouldn't have to pray as much. And when I talk about this story today, you're going to hear about evil," Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco told reporters.

At first, Atwood denied knowing anything about the whereabouts of the Zilliot family, according to Nocco. The family, who had been staying at Atwood's home in Hudson, was reported missing on Thursday by Mancini's mother after the mother-of-two failed to maintain their daily communications.

Rain Mancini Phillip Zilliot II
Rain Mancini and Phillip Zilliot II with their two children Facebook

On June 14, police conducted a welfare check on the family after a woman reported that her brother had seen bodies during a FaceTime call with Atwood, as reported by ABC Action News.

Atwood had reportedly called the brother asking for help to burn what he claimed was garbage. During the call, the man allegedly saw "adult and child bodies."

When police first visited Atwood's home in Hudson, he allowed them to search the property, and they did not find anything suspicious. The next day, police received a call from a man who claimed Atwood had "admitted to killing his roommates and their children," according to an affidavit.

It was only when officers returned for a second search with cadaver dogs that they found the remains.

A dog found what "appeared to be small skeletal remains" with soft tissue in a fire pit, according to USA TODAY. They also found human bone fragments and vertebrae.

Small Fights Results in Four Murders

"We believe it may be this family, but at the same time, I can't give a definitive until...the [medical examiner] gives us final confirmation that it is," Nocco said.

Karma and Phillip III
Karma and Phillip III were also killed by Rory Atwood Facebook

Atwood told police he had argued with the parents over a gun before their deaths, according to a criminal complaint obtained by USA TODAY.

He reportedly said he used "adrenaline" to drag their bodies to the firepit.

Nocco said in a press conference, "Around 4:30 in the afternoon on Friday, our deputies saw Rory Atwood. He gave us permission to go back onto the property, where we began a more extensive search."

"We have human remain dogs, bloodhounds, aviation, deputies; because of the search, we're able to find human remains.

"This, along with several admissions, is what led to Rory Atwood being charged with first-degree homicide."

Rain Mancini
Rain Mancini with her two children Facebook

Atwood told officers he had evicted the family on June 1 for not paying rent, but they returned unexpectedly on June 12. Atwood, who had been renting his place to the family, claimed the father entered his bedroom with a knife, leading to a fight involving all three adults over a knife and a gun.

He said the parents were shot multiple times during the struggle. The remains have not yet been formally identified, so Atwood has only been charged with one murder of a "John Doe" at the time of publishing.

He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bond.