Florida man admits to burning bodies of missing family of 4: affidavit

A Florida man was taken to jail after he allegedly admitted to burning the bodies of a missing family of four.

Rory Atwood, 25, was arrested on Saturday on premeditated murder charges, according to a Pasco County arrest affidavit.

On June 13, deputies received a call regarding a welfare check for Rain Mancini, Phillip Zilliot II and their two young children, Karma Zilliot and Phillip Zilliot III – who were the former roommates of Atwood.

The caller told dispatch that his brother had received a call from Atwood, who requested help burning trash. The brother told the caller that he saw a puddle of blood and could see "adult and child bodies" over the video call, the affidavit stated.


Booking photo of Rory Atwood via Pasco County jail

Deputies spoke with Atwood at his home on Nottingham Trail in Hudson. He told law enforcement that he had no knowledge regarding the deaths of the family and stated the family had walked off from the property on June 12. 

The next day, law enforcement received a call from a man who claimed Atwood had "admitted to killing his roommates and their children," the affidavit stated. 

Investigators spoke with Atwood again, who said he had kicked the family out due to unpaid rent, though items belonging to them were found at the residence.

During a search of the property, deputies uncovered a fire pit in the backyard with various burned debris at the base. 

A cadaver dog pulled an item from the pit which was later confirmed to be human remains, officials said.

There was also a "strong odor" of possibly chlorine around the front porch, the affidavit stated.

Atwood later told detectives that he had evicted the family from his home on June 1 because they did not pay rent, but the family came by "unexpectedly" on the evening of June 12, according to the affidavit.

Atwood claimed the couple entered his bedroom where he and his 4-year-old daughter were, with knives. He said he got into a fight with Phillip, as Rain allegedly poked his daughter's neck with a knife, the affidavit stated.

At some point, Phillip pulled out a gun, and during a struggle over the firearm, Rain was shot multiple times, the report said. Atwood claimed he redirected the gun toward Phillip and pulled the trigger, killing him, investigators said.

Atwood then allegedly dragged their bodies to the fire pit where they were burned. He admitted the bodies of the two children had also been burned, but did not provide a cause of death, deputies said.

Atwood is being held at the Pasco County jail without bond.