Jason E. Karels Round Lake Beach Illinois father drowns 3 children before estranged mother’s pick up. Leads police on a car chase before crashing.
Jason E. Karels of Round Lake Beach was taken into custody by police, Monday afternoon after the vehicle he was driving plunged off a bridge on Interstate 80 in Joliet. Before driving off the bridge, he led state troopers on a chase through Cook County, police said.
His children, ages 5, 3, and 2, died by drowning, the Lake County Coroner’s Office said at a news conference Tuesday.
Police did not indicate where the drownings took place and that no evidence existed of the man previously abusing the children.
The children were identified as Bryant Karels, 5, Cassidy Karels, 3, and Gideon Karels, 2. Officials said all three children were found in a bed. A deputy coroner said Tuesday that it is too early to determine whether the children were drugged. He said there were no other serious injuries to the children.
No known motive
Notice of the children’s deaths followed after the children’s mother, local waitress, Debbie Karels who was supposed to pick up the children from her ‘estranged husband,’ amid ongoing divorce proceedings.
Upon entering the house, the mother made the macabre discovery of the 3 deceased children, found dead in a bed. The mother in turn called police, who found the children deceased and Jason Karels missing.
It was soon after that the father led police on a pursuit, before the man crashed his vehicle. Whilst being extricated from the vehicle, Karels admitted being responsible for the children’s deaths in Round Lake Beach. Karels also said he attempted suicide ‘several times’ after the children’s deaths, police said.
Police said in the news conference that blood was found inside the home, in the 200 block of East Camden Lane, and that none of the blood belonged to the children.
On his LinkedIn profile, Karels wrote that he was a server for more than three years at the Cheesecake Factory in Lincolnshire, Illinois. In the past, he worked as a food server at Boston Fish Market Inc.
He also listed himself on LinkedIn as an ‘unemployed veteran’ from 2019 to present.
Police said Karels was being taken back to Lake County after spending the night in a hospital for treatment of his injuries. Police also said he could face further charges.
Police said they are continuing to investigate and will release more information as the investigation continues. To date no known motive for the killings was immediately known.