Mother of ISIS suspect says allegations are false, son suffers from mental illness

FBI claims Romeo Langhorne was trying to make a video to teach others how to make a specific explosive

ROANOKE, Va – A local mother is defending her son after he was arrested for supporting ISIS.

Virginia Langhorne said the allegations against her son are false and that he has suffered from mental illness for years.

Virginia Langhorne sent 10 News a three-page, hand-written statement Monday night. She said she doesn’t want to talk in front of a camera.

In the letter, she said it’s not true that her son, Romeo Langhorne, was trying to make a video to teach others how to make a specific explosive, for terrorist purposes in support of ISIS, as the FBI claims.

The statement from his mother goes on to say that Romeo Langhorne “has mental disorders” and “has been off meds for at least two years” and “can’t think or function clearly.”

She says that his whole life, he’s suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, ADHD, a personality disorder and depression.

“He was in special education,” said Virginia Langhorne. “ (He) has been on disability most all his life...The FBI knows he is not a threat”.

Romeo Langhorne was arrested at a home on Stewart Avenue in southeast Roanoke on Friday. His neighbor, Richard Newbill, said they both live there, in separate floors of the duplex. The day before the arrest, Newbill says Langhorne told him he was making bombs.

“He was always talking about he need to go to the library to fax some stuff off; he said, ‘Don’t be discouraged if you hear a bomb go off.’ I said, ‘What you mean a bomb go off?’ He said, ‘I might end up making a bomb,’” said Newbill.

Newbill says he took photos of FBI agents searching the home.

“The next morning, here come the FBI and Roanoke City police kicking in the door upstairs. So he come up the street riding the bicycle and they snatched him up and put him in the car. I ain’t seen him since,” said Newbill.

Langhorne’s mother also states she’s been getting calls from people in Florida saying the FBI is questioning them to build a case against her son.

About the Author:

Irisha joined the WSLS news team in January 2017 after spending four years as a reporter in Georgia.