According to authorities, a Florida landlord shot and killed a family of four—including young children—on June 18 before setting fire to their bodies in the backyard fire pit.

The family’s five and six-year-old children were allegedly murdered by Rory Atwood, 25, after he got into an argument with the parents, whom he had been acquainted with since high school.

We would pray less frequently if evil did not exist in the world. Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco warned media that the word “evil” would be used when discussing the case today.

The Zilliot family consisted of 26-year-old Rain Mancini, 25-year-old Phillip Zilliot II, and their 6- and 5-year-old children, Karma and Phillip III, respectively, and Atwood originally denied knowing their whereabouts, according to Nocco.

After Mancini, the mother of two, failed to maintain daily connections with the family residing at Atwood’s home in Hudson, they were reported missing by Mancini’s mother on Thursday, June 13.

The criminal complaint adds that investigators found the backyard firepit to be “actively smoldering and smoking,” but other than that, Atwood, a father himself, let them inspect the property that very day.

According to the affidavit, Atwood’s acquaintance informed the police the following day that the landlord had admitted to “killing his roommates and their children” in a phone call the previous night.

Authorities brought cadaver dogs back to the scene, where they allegedly extracted two human vertebrae, soft tissue, and “small skeletal remains” from the fire pit. Additionally, the rear patio was heavily perfumed with a strong chlorine scent.

Atwood ultimately gave up and admitted to murdering the family, after initially claiming he had evicted them previously due to nonpayment of rent.

On Wednesday night, June 12, armed with knives, Zilliot II and Mancini broke into the house, as he recounts it. According to the suspected killer, Zilliot II resorted to a fistfight after his high school acquaintance Atwood disarmed him after he attempted to use a knife on her.

According to the landlord’s account to detectives, he lost it when he witnessed Mancini “poke” his own 4-year-old daughter in the throat with her knife.

According to court records, Atwood finally gained control of the knife and gun that Zilliot II had brought and shot his two ex-friends.

He informed authorities he thinks the parents murdered their children but wouldn’t say where the kids were during the fight.

Atwood initially denied killing Phillip and tiny Karma, but she then changed her story to say their remains were in the fire pit as well.

Atwood then allegedly used his “adrenaline” to cause Zilliot II and Mancini’s bodies to be dragged to the fire pit and set ablaze.

According to Nocco, Atwood has been charged with the family’s murders based on his statement, but investigators are still trying to connect the family members to the remains discovered at the scene.