Father charged with murder in drowning deaths of 3 young children

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ROUND LAKE BEACH, Ill. (WGN) — An estranged father has been charged with first-degree murder after admitting to drowning his three children, police in Illinois said on Tuesday.

At around 1:40 p.m. Monday, Round Lake Beach police were contacted to perform a well-being check at a home in the 200 block of East Camden Lane. Upon arrival, police found three dead children inside, later identified at 5-year-old Bryant, 3-year-old Cassidy and 2-year-old Gideon.

Police said the children were visiting their father, Jason Karels, 35, who was estranged from his wife. Their mother asked police to perform a well-being check prior to a scheduled doctor appointment, police said.

“I cannot fathom the pain this family is going through right now,” Round Lake Beach Police Chief Gilbert Rivera said.

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Karels then was spotted by Illinois State Police in his red Nissan Maxima — which prompted a 17-minute police pursuit that ended on I-80 near Joliet, police said in a news conference.

Police said the father admitted to killing his children after he was taken into custody. He was transported to a local hospital and subsequently charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday.

A GoFundMe for the mother has raised over $25,000.

Karels is scheduled to appear in bond court Wednesday.



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