Father Accused Of Drowning Three Young Children

Jason Karels
Facebook | Debbie Karels

News & Politics
Jessica Powers

A father in Illinois accused of killing his three children left a note for his estranged wife stating if he couldn't have the children, then neither could she.

Jason Karels And His Wife Were Estranged, In Custody Battle

Debra Karels and her three children
GoFundMe | Debra Karels

Jason Karels, 35, is currently being held on a $10 million bail after he allegedly drowned his three young children who had been dropped off with him for the weekend.

Karels and his wife were apparently in an ongoing custody battle. The husband reportedly had no criminal history or history of mental health issues, and police had never before responded to the scene.

Children Found Dead After Well-Being Check

Jason and Debbie Karels with their oldest son.
Facebook | Debra Karels

Police said Debra Karels was supposed to pick up her three children from her estranged husband on Monday for a doctor's appointment, but she instead called police to perform a well-being check inside the home.

When police arrived, they found the three children, who were identified as 5-year-old Bryant, 3-year-old Cassidy, and 2-year-old Gideon Karels dead, according to the Lake County Coroner's Office. The coroner's office said it appears the children died by drowning.

Father Allegedly Admitted To Murders After Arrest

The three children of Debbie and Jason Karels.
Facebook | Debbie Karels

Karels crashed his Nissan off the highway after a high-speed chase with the police. He was then arrested on the scene.

"After the crash, Karels made statements to police officers involved in the chase and wearing body-worn cameras, indicating he was responsible for the deaths of the children at the Round Lake Beach home," Round Lake Beach Police Chief Gilbert Rivera said. "He also said he attempted to commit suicide several times after the deaths of the children but was unsuccessful during these attempts."

Fundraising Page Started To Help Grieving Mother

Jason Karels and Debbie Karels with their oldest son.
Facebook | Debbie Karels

Dick Barr, a Lake County Board Member, created a GoFundMe to help Debra Karels with various expenses, including funeral costs and legal fees as she attempts to move on with her life. The fundraising page had raised more than $60,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

"Tragedy pierced the barrier between tv news and our own hometown and back yards. Three young and innocent souls were taken from this earth by unspeakable evil. That unspeakable evil existed in the heart and mind of the man who so heinously took the lives of three of his own children," Barr wrote. "But that evil does not represent our town, our neighborhood, our street. That evil has been in the hearts of minds of many people and it pays no mind to an address, community or even a country. It exists in Round Lake to Lake Forest and everywhere in between."

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