He left a chilling note for his wife that said, "‘If I can’t have them, neither can you’"
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 21, 2022. It has since been updated.
Trigger Warning: This story mentions details of abuse that may be disturbing to readers.
A man from Illinois, who has been accused of drowning his three children during a custodial visit, reportedly left a note for his estranged wife, telling her why he did it, according to PEOPLE.
The scary note read: "If I can't have them, neither can you."
When Debra Karels went to pick up her kids after their weekend with their dad, she saw three lifeless bodies lying on the bed. As soon as the bodies were discovered, Debra also noticed that her estranged husband and his car were missing.
While the cops investigated inside the home, authorities spotted the car—a red Nissan Maxima—along I-57 and followed him in a high-speed chase that lasted for 17 minutes. It ended when the man crashed his vehicle.
"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 during a press conference, earlier this week.
"He also said he attempted to commit suicide several times after the deaths of the children," Rivera said.
Prosecutors described the chilling note at a hearing for Jason Karels on Wednesday. “I don’t want to see it,” his estranged wife, Debra Karels, told the Beast. https://t.co/RIXqgaHFHE— Finax News USA (@FinaxIn) June 15, 2022
Per CBS News, the note was revealed by the prosecutors during the bond hearing for 35-year-old Jason E. Karels, who is believed to be responsible for drowning his children—Bryant, 5, Cassidy, 3, and 2-year-old Gideon—to death in a bathtub at his home in Round Lake Beach.
"The most important thing to me were the kids, and he knew that," his estranged wife Debra told CBS Chicago. "He knew that nothing mattered but those children, and he took them away from me, because he knew that would hurt me the most."
Karels, who now faces three murder charges, was reportedly in the midst of getting a divorce from Debra because he "constantly played games and neglected his family."
However, she still let him see their kids because she felt it was only right for their kids to have both a father and a mother in their lives. "I thought what was right was the father should be involved. The father should see them," she said. "I just had so much faith; so much faith, so much love that it would all work out in the end, and it didn't," Debra added.
If you ever wanted to see the true face of evil, this is it – he killed his three children by drowning them in his home in Round Lake Beach, Illinois-The children were 5, 3 and 2…Jason Karels, 35, - pic.twitter.com/gJXIMQi79z— Chief Thomas Weitzel-Retired (@ChiefWeitzel) June 16, 2022
Now, the man—who has been assigned a public defender—has been ordered to be held on a $10 million bond. However, it wasn't immediately clear if he has entered a plea.
A GoFundMe has been set up in the mother's name to raise funds.
Cover Image Credit: GoFundMe