Jason Karels bond hearing reveals Round Lake Beach dad leaving cryptic note to wife prior to drowning 3 kids as bond is set at $10 million.
‘If I can’t have them neither can you.’ This was the note a Round Lake Beach, Illinois father left his wife as he one by one drowned the couple’s three young children amid divorce proceedings prosecutors stated.
Jason E. Karels, appeared in court on Wednesday amid bond proceedings, after being charged with three counts of first-degree murder for the drowning deaths of the estranged couple’s three kids, Bryant, 5, Cassidy, 3, and 2-year-old Gideon.
The three siblings were found dead at the military veteran‘s home in the Chicago suburb of Round Lake Beach Monday as Debbie Karels made her way to her estranged husband’s residence for her scheduled pick of the kids.
It is there that the mother came across the macabre scene of the three deceased children, side by side in a bed.
Unable to reach her husband, Debra Karrels requested a welfare check with responding officers from the Round Lake Beach Police Dept. observing Jason’s blood throughout the house after the father’s failed attempts to take his own life, prosecutors said.
‘If I can’t have them neither can you.’
Upon gaining entry to the residence, officers officers came across a note, Jason Karels had purportedly left his wife, ‘If I can’t have them neither can you.’
Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak set Jason’s bond at $10 million. The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office will seek to hold Karels without the possibility of cash bond, and that motion will be heard in court July 13, prosecutor Jeff Fackham said.
After murdering the children, Jason led state troopers on a high speed chase that lasted for 17 minutes before crashing his vehicle in a densely wooded area off of Interstate 80. The man was recovered and taken into custody.
After the crash, Karels made statements to police officers indicating he drowned his children in a tub one by one, according to Fackham.
‘He also said he attempted to commit suicide several times after the deaths of the children but was unsuccessful during these attempts,’ Round Lake Beach Police Chief Gilbert Rivera said, according to ABC 7.
Officials said the Karels couple was estranged and may have been sharing custody of their children. The motive for the crime remains under investigation.
A relative claimed that Jason suffers from mental illness but has been refusing to seek psychiatric help, and that Debra was in the process of getting a divorce after allegedly suffering from abuse at his hands.
They were excited to see their mom
The mother-of-three wanted to maintain a ‘working’ relationship with Jason for the sake of their children, and allowed them stay with him.
Debra told The Daily Beast that the last time she spoke with her kids was late Sunday and they seemed ‘happy.’
‘They were excited to hear from me. They were excited to chat,’ Debra told the outlet. ‘They were not doing anything special, they just seemed excited that I was going to pick them up the next morning.’
A GoFundMe page set up by Lake County Board Member Dick Barr to help raise money for the grieving mother has as of Thursday noon garnered more than $83,200 in donations.