ROUND LAKE BEACH, Ill. (WGN) — An estranged father has been charged with first-degree murder after admitting to drowning his three children, police in Illinois said on Tuesday.

At around 1:40 p.m. Monday, Round Lake Beach police were contacted to perform a well-being check at a home in the 200 block of East Camden Lane. Upon arrival, police found three dead children inside, later identified at 5-year-old Bryant, 3-year-old Cassidy and 2-year-old Gideon.

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Police said the children were visiting their father, Jason Karels, 35, who was estranged from his wife. Their mother asked police to perform a well-being check prior to a scheduled doctor appointment, police said.

“I cannot fathom the pain this family is going through right now,” Round Lake Beach Police Chief Gilbert Rivera said.

Karels then was spotted by Illinois State Police in his red Nissan Maxima — which prompted a 17-minute police pursuit that ended on I-80 near Joliet, police said in a news conference.

Police said the father admitted to killing his children after he was taken into custody. He was transported to a local hospital and subsequently charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday.

A GoFundMe for the mother has raised over $25,000.

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Karels is scheduled to appear in bond court Wednesday.