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County native killed in Florida

September 3, 2010

     A Whitley County native was one of three people murdered Aug. 26 in Suwannee County, Fla., in what police believe was a home invasion robbery.
     Sixty-eight-year-old Nancy Militello was found dead in her home along with her husband, Joseph Militello Jr., 57, and their 32-year-old nephew, Angelo Rosales.
     The three were found face-down and side-by-side in the living room of the home, all shot in the back of the head, according to police statements to the “Suwanee Democrat.”
     According to a long-time friend Marilyn Smith, Nancy Militello was the daughter of Sylvester and Mary Chupp. Nancy Militello was raised in Whitley County and attended Etna-Troy schools and Columbia City High School.
     Militello’s obituary was published in Thursday’s edition.
     Janice Studebaker, who said Nancy baby-sat for her as a child, was also related to Nancy for a time when the two married the oldest and youngest brothers of a family.
     “She was one of a kind,” Studebaker said. “She and Joe were the kind of aunt and uncle you’d want your kids to have, and, independently, the kind of people you want your kids to grow up and marry.”
     Three men have been arrested in connection with the murders.
     Two men, James Lindsey Howze, 38, and Lonnie Robert Munn, 47, were captured Thursday in a state park in Minnesota.
     According to news reports from the area, the two are charged with three counts of first degree murder, home invasion with a firearm, conspiracy to commit home invasion with a firearm and conspiracy to commit first degree murder with a firearm.
     A third suspect, Allen Hughes, was arrested Friday, and charged with robbery and conspiracy, according to Florida news reports.
     According to Florida media reports, Hughes is a former employee of the Militellos
     Police told Florida media that robbery likely was the motive behind the slayings at the couple’s McAlpin, Fla., home, about 30 miles west of Lake City, Fla., and that the murders were planned as part of the robbery.
     According to the “Suwannee Democrat,” the bodies were found by an employee of the Militellos, who operated several businesses including a scrap metal business and a used car operation.

Managing editor Ruth Stanley contributed to this story.
 

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