Round Lake Beach

Father Charged With Killing 3 Children in Round Lake Beach Left Note for Wife: Prosecutors

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Prosecutors revealed new details on the tragic killings of three children in Round Lake Beach this week, alleging their father drowned them before leaving a note for their mother to find.

During a bond court hearing Wednesday, prosecutors alleged 35-year-old Jason Karels drowned the children - ages 5, 3 and 2 - individually in a bathtub before leaving their bodies on a bed in the home.

Also left at the scene was a note that read "If I can't have them, neither can you," prosecutors said in court.

Karels was ordered held on a $10 million bond Wednesday morning.

"This is a devastating case for our community, and we are resolved to achieve justice for these three innocent children," Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said in a statement. 

Police said they were called to the residence just after 1 p.m. after the mother of the children discovered the children inside as she came to pick them up after a weekend with her estranged husband.

“What they saw yesterday is something that no one should have to see,” Police Chief Gilbert Rivera said.

The Lake County Coroner said the initial cause of death was ruled as drowning.

Karels had fled the scene and an alert was put out for his vehicle, authorities said.

Police ultimately found him and pursued him for nearly 20 minutes, finally capturing him after he crashed his vehicle on Interstate 80.

Officers say that Karels admitted to them that he had killed the three children, and said he had tried to take his own life.

He was taken to an area hospital after the crash, and was booked into the Lake County jail on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a family member says that they are in shock over the deaths of the three children, identified as Bryant, Cassidy and Gideon Karels.

That family member told NBC 5 that the children’s mother dropped them off at the home for the weekend, and that she could have never imagined it would be the last time she would see them alive.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the mother and the extended family of the children, including raising money for funeral costs.

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