Numerous officers were honored Wednesday for their roles in the apprehension and investigation of a father accused of killing his three children in Round Lake Beach a year ago.
The private ceremony was held in front of the Round Lake Beach Police Department Wednesday evening.
Several police officers from Round Lake Beach, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the Chicago Police Department were awarded special recognition for their work in the investigation and capture of Jason Karels, 36, of Round Lake Beach.
Karels was charged with killing his three children — Bryant, age 5; Cassidy, age 3; and Gideon, age 2.
The children were found drowned and laying in a bedroom at Karels’ home in the 200 block of Camden Lane in Round Lake Beach on June 13, 2022.
Karels fled the scene prior to police arrival. An alert was issued for Karels’ vehicle.
Cook County sheriff’s deputies spotted the car on the interstate in Chicago.
Karels led police on a high-speed chase that lasted nearly 20 minutes into Joliet.
The pursuit, led by Cook County sheriff’s deputies and a Chicago police helicopter, ended when Karels crashed into a heavily wooded area on Interstate 80 near Water Street in Joliet.
Round Lake Beach police officers Gardiner Wade and Katie Crawford received a letter of recognition for their assistance on the case.
Chicago Police Department Sergeant Steve Jarosz and Officer Brian Raniere, who is retired now, and Cook County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jim Gosling received letters of recognition for their assistance on the case.
Chicago Police Department Lieutenant Tony Mendez, the Commanding Officer of the Marine/Helicopter Unit, received a plaque for his assistance on the case.
Round Lake Beach Detective Bobby Barrera received a department commendation.
Round Lake Beach Mayor Scott Nickles and Round Lake Beach Police Chief Wayne Wilde delivered a special proclamation during the Wednesday ceremony naming the three slain children as honorary Round Lake Beach police officers.
The mother of the children was awarded a special ceremonial brick that will be placed in the Village of Round Lake Beach “Heroes Grove” memorial located outside the police department on Hook Drive.
The mother thanked police officers, village officials and prosecutors from the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office for their roles in the case during the event.