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Man likely killed missing Florida family of 4 after human remains found on his property: sheriff

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office, while searching for clues as to why a family went missing last week, discovered human remains on a property they were last seen visiting.

A family of four that went missing last week, including two kids ages 5 and 6, is feared dead after law enforcement officials searched a property in Hudson, Florida, and found human remains, authorities said.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said the owner of the property, 25-year-old Rory Atwood, has been charged with first-degree murder.

Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a press conference on Saturday that the human remains found on Atwood’s property have not yet been identified, though investigators believe they could be those of the missing family. For now, the sheriff’s office is referring to the remains as belonging to John Doe.

Investigators said 26-year-old Rain Mancini, 25-year-old Phillip Zilliot II, 6-year-old Karma Zilliot and 5-year-old Phillip Zilliot III were last seen at about 12:30 a.m. on June 12 near Nottingham Trail in Hudson.

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Authorities said that at about 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Mancini got picked up at her mother’s house by a friend who drove her to Atwood’s home on Nottingham Trail.

Nocco said that was the last time Mancini’s mother saw her daughter.

Mancini, her friend, Zilliot II, and Atwood were at the house with Mancini and Zilliot’s two children and Atwood’s daughter, officials said. During that time, the sheriff said, the adults were drinking.

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Zilliot II and his mother spoke over the phone at around midnight that night.

"Per Rain's friend, Rain, Phillip and Rory were all drinking alcohol, and they started arguing," Nocco said. Investigators are still working to piece together what happened that night, but at about 2 a.m., Atwood allegedly frantically called a friend to say he had shot someone.

It took at least 12 hours for someone to contact the sheriff’s office, Nocco said, and by then, the information coming in was third- or fourth-hand.

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On Thursday evening, deputies searched Atwood’s property with his permission. The property is about 10 acres of rural land, and authorities were unable to find anything out of the ordinary.

On Wednesday evening, investigators spoke with Mancini’s mother, who said she did not know where her daughter was and had not spoken with her since Wednesday.

Deputies returned to Atwood’s property on Friday night to search for the now-missing family, and human remains were discovered.

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

Until the remains are identified, the missing-persons case remains active.

The sheriff’s office told Fox News Digital on Sunday that the investigation is ongoing and there was no new information to provide in terms of the identity of the remains.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of these individuals is asked to call the Pasco Sheriff’s nonemergency line at 727-847-8102, option 7, or report tips online at pascosheriff.com/tips.

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