A Bradley University English professor and her husband were murdered by the couple's 21-year-old son because he was "sick" of them, an Illinois prosecutor said Tuesday.
Jose Ramirez was arraigned on two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Susan Brill de Ramirez and Antonio Ramirez Barron, both 63. Judge Sean Donahue ordered him held on $3 million bond and set a preliminary hearing for Nov. 29.
Prosecutors said Jose Ramirez told police he waited until his parents were sleeping and then went into their bedroom sometime Friday. Peoria County Assistant State's Attorney Dave Kenny alleged that Ramirez sprayed pepper spray as a distraction, then stabbed his father in the stomach and neck. Kenny claimed Ramirez stabbed his mother when she woke up.
Investigators said Ramirez then wrapped the bodies in a tarp and a tent, put them in his father's SUV and dumped them in a waterway. Late Tuesday, Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell told reporters that the couple's bodies were believed to have been found near the village of Laura, approximately 10 miles west of Princeville, where the couple lived.
Asbell previously said that Jose Ramirez was not familiar with the area where he dumped his parents' bodies and could not give them an exact location where he left them.
"There has been quite a bit of precipitation over the weekend in that area, which causes these creeks and rivers to swell," the sheriff said. "Obviously, that has influenced the scope of the search."
The couple was last seen Thursday at the Peoria university, where Brill de Ramirez taught and where Ramirez Barron worked in the school's information technology department. A relative reported them missing on Sunday and deputies found blood and signs of a struggle at the couple's house.
A friend of Jose Ramirez, 21-year-old Matthew Roberts, is charged with obstruction of justice and concealment of a homicidal death. Asbell said investigators didn't have evidence that Roberts was involved in the killings or dumping of the bodies, but believed he knew that Ramirez had done so.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.