Investigators working on the case said that apparently the man killed his girlfriend and later turned the gun on himself because he feared she had contracted the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus and infected him with the disease, according to a press release from the Will County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO).
WCSO deputies were dispatched to the home for a welfare check around 8 p.m. Thursday on Bruce Road in Lockport Township after the parents of Patrick Jesernik worried after not hearing from their son.
Police said that arriving officers found two separate individuals at the residence lying on the floor with obvious signs of trauma to their heads.
The bodies were identified as 54-year-old Jesernik and his girlfriend, 59-year-old Cheryl Schriefer.
Both of the deceased were found with a pool of blood formed around their heads in separate rooms inside the residence, according to the release.
An autopsy was performed and revealed the couple both died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head.
Officials concluded that Jesernik had shot his girlfriend at close range in the back of her head before shooting himself.
“A loaded revolver containing two spent shell casings and three live rounds were located near Patrick’s body,” the statement said. “There were no signs of a struggle, and the home was neat and orderly.”
Families arriving on the scene said Jesernik prompted the fear that he and Schriefer had contracted the CCP virus. His girlfriend was tested just two days ago after she was having a hard time breathing.
The couple’s family said Jesernik and Schriefer had not received their test results yet, but this was not confirmed and was just to their own knowledge.
Authorities said at the time of the autopsy they both tested negative to COVID-19.
During the current CCP virus pandemic, officials at the WCSO said the vast majority of 911 calls so far involved “domestic disputes and crisis intervention calls.”
Some experts fear that the further the COVID-19 crisis spreads across the United States, and the more people are placed under lockdown, a surge in domestic violence is possible.
The WCSO said in the release that when “anyone is a victim of a domestic violence situation, the Will County Courthouse remains open for individuals in need of obtaining an order of protection.”
Chicago is currently under a stay-at-home order that will last until at least April 30. Currently, the most populous city in Illinois has confirmed 5,043 CCP virus cases as of April 6, according to the official City of Chicago website.