Police said a man drowned his three young children and then unsuccessfully tried numerous times to kill himself before being arrested.
The harrowing incident unfolded in the small city of Round Lake Beach, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois.
Round Lake Police Chief Gilbert Rivera told reporters that police were called to the man's home at about 1:40 a.m. on Monday for a welfare check by the mother of the children. She has shared custody and was scheduled to pick up the children.
When they entered the home, they discovered the three small children dead from apparent drowning. The three children killed were 5-year-old Bryant, 3-year-old Cassidy, and 2-year-old Gideon.
Rivera said that Jason Karels, the father of the children, had them for a weekend visit and the mother was to pick them up for a doctor's appointment.
He was not in the home when police found the children, but his car was spotted by Illinois State Police hours later. Karels crashed after a pursuit and when he was pulled from the car, he reportedly told police that he had drowned the children and tried to kill himself numerous times.
Lake County Coroner's Office Chief Deputy Steve Newton said that autopsies determined drowning to be the cause of death for the three children.
Karels has been charged with three counts of murder and could face further charges.
"I don't know if anything could have stopped this, or if there were any early indications of it. As I mentioned, we were not familiar with this family nor with the house, but I can tell you we're all deeply affected," Rivera said.
Neighbors told reporters that the family kept to themselves and that they had seen the children playing in the backyard of their home this weekend.
Police said Karels had no criminal or mental illness history. The man reportedly posted social media comments critical of President Joe Biden and the Black Lives Matter movement.
"I cannot fathom the pain this family is going through right now," Rivera added.
Here's a local news report about the incident:
Father charged with drowning 3 children in Round Lake Beach due in bond court www.youtube.com