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From behind bars: Son of slain Princeville couple blames his anger on foster care

Peoria County, Il. (HOI) – What started out as a missing persons case in Princeville this past October, quickly turned into a double homicide investigation.

On the morning of October 30th, The Peoria County Sheriff’s Office was asking the public, when was the last time you saw Susan Brill De Ramirez and Antonio Ramirez Barron? The Princeville couple both worked at Bradley University. They were last seen publicly four days before that.

Their son, Jose Ramirez, made the call that their family home was broken into.

“There was obvious blood evidence inside the residence which indicated some struggle took place inside the house. We’re worried about the welfare of both Antonio and Susan and we’re asking for the public’s help,” said Sheriff Brian Asbell, October 30th, 2018.

Hours later, Sheriff Brian Asbell says in a press conference that Jose admit to killing his parents, revealing gruesome details.

“The stab wounds were pretty significant throughout their bodies. There were multiple defensive wounds as well on the upper arms so they bluntly did not go down without a fight,” said Jamie Harwood, Peoria County Coroner, later that day.

Bond was set at $3 million for both Jose Ramirez and Matthew Roberts.

Born in New Mexico, Jose says over the phone that he was put in foster care at 3-years-old in Colorado. It wasn’t until he was almost 8-years-old that he was adopted by Susan and Antonio.

“It was not as pleasant as it probably sounds. I mean I had a lot of angerment issues to begin with, I didn’t make friends that easily at school,” said Jose.

Jenise Rebholz: “Do you believe your anger came from being in foster care?”
Jose: “Yes. Actually, I know that for a fact. I’ve been angry ever since I was three probably.”

“I’ve gone to therapy ever since I got adopted at the Antioch Center, but I’m not really good at confronting my emotions so most of the time it felt like it never really helped,” said Jose.

Jose says with two parents working at Bradley, he felt a lot of pressure in school and says he has dyslexia.

He says he never felt like he could make his mom proud.

“None whatsoever. But eventually I just stopped caring about making her proud,” said Jose.

Instead of studying at Bradley, Jose took classes at Illinois Central College.

“Ironically… child psychology. I had a pretty rough childhood and I wanted to help kids be able to go through their childhood better. I know I would be able to relate to what they’ve been able to go through,” said Jose.

Still, Eight months after the death of Susan and Antonio, Jose implies he killed them.

“That whole day, just… I can’t actually picture anything that happened that day. Even in the morning,” said Jose.

When asked if he misses his parents, Jose said “no, not really”.


Jenise Rebholz

Evening Anchor, Heart of Illinois ABC

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