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Father arrested for allegedly drowning his three children ‘left chilling note for wife’

Karels tried to kill himself before leading police on a high speed chase and crashing his car

Arpan Rai©

An Illinois father who allegedly drowned his three children left their mother a note that read “‘If I can’t have them neither can you”, say authorities.

Jason Karels, 35, is accused of killing the children, all under the age of five, in a bathtub at his home when they visited him over the weekend.

He is accused of murdering the youngsters, aged two, three and five, before trying to kill himself and then leading police on a chase across the Chicago area before he crashed his car.

Mr Karels told police officers that he was responsible for the death of his three children, according to a local report by ABC7.

A Lake County judge ordered him to be held on $10m bail when he appeared in court on Wednesday.

The report added that the man was missing along with his Nissan Maxima car and it was later found at 115th Street, following which they launched a high-speed chase. It ended in a crash in a wooded area in Joilet.

Officials from the Round Lake Beach Police said they are investigating the death of three children who were discovered dead inside their residence in the 200 block of E Camden Lane.

“Round Lake Beach Police were contacted at 1.40pm Monday to perform a well-being check at the home. Upon arrival, police discovered three people deceased inside,” the police department said in a statement.

Pictured: Jason Karels

They added that the case remains an active homicide investigation by the Round Lake Beach Police Department and did not share more details of the circumstances leading to the death of three children by their father.

“However, Round Lake Beach investigators want to inform residents this was an isolated incident and there is no further risk to the public,” the statement by the police officers in a Facebook post added.

The police will release more information later when they are able to, it added.

Citing the preliminary autopsies, the coroner’s office said that the kids died from drowning.

The kids — 5-year-old Bryant, 3-year-old Cassidy and 2-year-old Gideon Karels — were supposed to be picked up by their mother from the man’s house, according to a local report by ABC7.

The woman, who is estranged from her husband, asked the police to perform a well-being check at the man’s house, the report added. On reaching, the police found the kids dead.

According to a GoFundMe page set up for the family’s needs, “On the 13th of June, 2022, a father allegedly took the lives of all three of his children in the most violent way possible. Left to deal with this tragedy is the estranged wife of the murderer of those three innocent angels.”

Lake County Board member Dick Barr, who set up the page for the mother, said: "She wants people to know who they were, and she wants people to remember them.”

“This tragedy happened in my own neighbourhood, and I need to make certain that this mother has everything she needs to not have to worry about money at this terrible time,” Mr Barr said in the post for funding.

He added: “As heart broken as I am, I am equally angry. I’m angry that this coward is not dead while his innocent children are stacked up at the morgue and his estranged wife weeps with sorrow no human alive should ever have to endure.”

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