Crime & Courts

Son charged with 2006 slaying of parents

More than seven years after they were found shot to death in their McHenry County home, the son of Gloria and Nick Romano has been charged with killing them.

Michael W. Romano, 54, was arrested Tuesday in Las Vegas, charged with first-degree murder in his parents’ 2006 double homicide.

Nick Romano, 71, and Gloria Romano, 65, were found Nov. 19, 2006, with gunshot wounds to the back of the head. Michael Romano told police he found his parents dead at 3 a.m. He drove to their home to check on the couple because they weren’t answering their phones, he has said.

There were no signs of forced entry at the couple’s home, which was in Lake Killarney, just outside Crystal Lake. Neither victim showed signs of defensive wounds or other injuries, then-McHenry County Coroner Marlene Lantz said at the time.

Police long have suspected Michael Romano. Formerly of Algonquin, he left the area shortly after his parents’ death and was working as a cab driver in Las Vegas, sheriff’s police said.

As the 2006 investigation progressed, Michael Romano stopped cooperating with detectives and would only speak with them through an attorney, according to Northwest Herald reports from the time.

It’s unclear what new evidence, if any, connects Michael Romano to the killings. McHenry County State’s Attorney Criminal Division Chief Michael Combs would not comment on the investigation.

In an interview in 2007, Michael Romano said he quit talking with police because he didn’t like the way they handled his questioning immediately after his parents’ deaths. He was interrogated for 15 hours, he said.

Meanwhile, Michael’s brother, Nicholas Romano, offered rewards for information about his parents’ killer. Nicholas Romano expressed frustration with his brother, and questioned why Michael was at the home so late.

Nicholas Romano no longer lives in the area. He could not be reached for comment.

“I will not give up searching for answers,” Nicholas Romano said in a 2007 interview. “Somebody’s got to know something. We all want answers.”

McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren said the investigation remains open, and Nicholas Romano’s $100,000 reward still stands.

“We’re not closing the book on this one,” Nygren said. “We’re still hoping people will come forward ... anyone with information useful to prosecuting this case.”

Michael Romano remains in custody in Clark County, Nev., awaiting extradition. He waived extradition at a hearing there Thursday, meaning he will be brought back to McHenry County in a few weeks.

Sheriff’s deputies, with the assistance of Las Vegas Metro Police, served Michael Romano with an arrest warrant and took him into custody.

The decision to present the case to a grand jury was made by the State’s Attorney’s Office, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. A criminal indictment was returned earlier this month remains, but it remains sealed.

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