New details released in murders of 3 children in Round Lake Beach

Suburban police announced new information Tuesday regarding the murders of three children found dead in a Round Lake Beach home the day before.

The children's father has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

Around 1:40 p.m. Monday, police say they responded to a home in the 200 block of Camden Lane for a well-being check after a mother was unable to pick up her children from her estranged husband.

When officers arrived on scene, they found the three children — ages 5, 3 and 2 — dead in the home.


The immediate person of interest was identified as the father, 35-year-old Jason E. Karels, who was missing from the scene.

Police broadcasted information to officers regarding what vehicle Karels may be driving, which was a red 2010 Nissan Maxima. Officers were able to find the car on Interstate 57 near 115th Street and attempted to make a traffic stop. That is when a chase ensued.


The high-speed chase lasted 17 minutes and spanned across multiple highways, police said.

The chase came to an end when the father's vehicle crashed into a wooded area near Interstate 80 at Water Street in Joliet, police said.

Karels was transported to an area hospital with injuries, where he remained in custody overnight.

As Karels was being arrested, police say he indicated he killed the children — and that he tried to commit suicide several times after the children's deaths but failed.

Police say there was "a lot of blood" at the home where the murders occurred, but that the blood was not of the children. Police did not yet release details on how Karels tried to take his life.

Autopsies conducted on the children determined the kids died from drowning, officials said. They were identified as 5-year-old Bryant, 3-year-old Cassidy and 2-year-old Gideon.

Karels will appear in bond court Wednesday morning, police said.