A MOTHER found her three young children drowned after her estranged husband shockingly warned he would ‘never hurt’ them.
Debra Karels picked them up at her ex Jason’s home but then had to call the police, who were with her when they discovered their bodies in a suburb of Chicago.
Jason Karels, 35, was charged with triple murder yesterday after leading cops on a high-speed car chase.
He reportedly confessed to intentionally drowning his children.
On Monday morning, Debra was due to pick up her daughter Cassidy, three, and sons Bryant, five, and Gideon, two, after spending a weekend at their dad’s in Round Lake Beach.
The kids were “happy” when she last spoke to them on Sunday night, Debra told The Daily Beast.
She said: “They were excited to chat.
“They didn’t do anything special, they just seemed excited that I would pick them up the next morning.”
After no response, she called the police, and officers were dispatched to conduct “a health check” at 1:40 p.m.
Debra went inside with officers and found the children dead in a bedroom, Police Chief Gilbert Rivera said.
Karels was absent along with his red Nissan Maxima.
Hours later, the car was spotted on Interstate 57 and he is said to have fled at high speed.
After a 17-minute chase, he fell on Interstate 80 and was pulled from the wreckage.
Karels was caught on police body-worn cameras admitting responsibility for the children’s deaths, police claim.
He also said he tried to kill himself several times.
He was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and was taken to a local hospital under police guard.
Initial autopsy results indicate the children died by drowning.
Police said they found blood in the house but not on the children.
The tragedy happened just a month after Debra left her husband and started divorce proceedings.
Sister-in-law Christina Neuman Berg said: “Unfortunately, there was domestic violence in their relationship and Debbie finally found the strength to leave him and get a divorce.
“But Debbie wanted to maintain a relationship with her children’s father and let him visit her, and now we know that was a terrible mistake.”
Debra, who took out a loan to pay a divorce lawyer, said she willingly allowed Jason access to the children despite fears about his mental state.
She said alarm bells should have been ringing when he vowed to “never hurt the kids.”
He also told her, “All my beef is with you,” she added.
Over the weekend, he suggested accompanying her on a family trip to the doctor’s after she picked them up on Monday.
“He wanted the kids to be peaceful,” she added.
Debra broke down in tears as she remembered her “wonderful” children.
Bryant was a “very, very smart” kid who loved video games and was dying to start kindergarten this year.
“He used to say, ‘Don’t worry mommy, I’ll always take care of you,'” she said.
Cassidy was a “little middle kid” who would protect her brothers, and the youngest Gideon “was a sweet little mama’s boy” who loved dinosaurs and Mickey Mouse.
Debra added: “I’m just in disbelief. I never thought he would do that to his kids.
“But now I know if you have any doubts, don’t ignore it and stick to your guns.”
The murders have shocked the tight-knit community north of Chicago.
Nearly $50,000 has already been raised in a GoFundMe drive started by Lake County Board Member Dick Barr.
He said: “The tragedy has broken the barrier between TV news and our own hometown and backyards.
“Three young and innocent souls were taken from this earth by unspeakable malice.
“This unspeakable evil existed in the heart and mind of the man who so heinously took the lives of three of his own children.
“As heartbroken as I am, I’m just as angry.
“I’m furious that this coward isn’t dead while his innocent children are piled up in the morgue and his estranged wife is crying with a grief no man should ever endure.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5564713/dad-drowned-three-children-mother-horror-discovery/ Terrifying warning from father who ‘drowned his three children under the age of 5’ as their mother makes a horror discovery