Police: Man's COVID-19 Fear Was Behind Murder-Suicide

Autopsies show neither had the coronavirus
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 6, 2020 3:58 PM CDT
Fear a Couple Had COVID-19 Led to Murder-Suicide: Police
Stock photo   (Getty/bmcent1)

The bodies of a man and a woman were found inside their suburban Chicago home in what authorities say was a murder-suicide that was apparently prompted by the man's concern that the two of them had the coronavirus, authorities said. Deputies who were dispatched to a home in Lockport Township to conduct a welfare check Thursday discovered the bodies of Patrick Jesernik, 54, and Cheryl Schriefer, 59, the Will County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The two, whose bodies were found in separate rooms, had each been shot once, the AP reports, and a gun was near Jesernik's body.

The investigation determined that Jesernik had shot Schriefer in the back of the head before shooting himself. They had lived together for several years but were not married, sheriff's department spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer said. According to the release, relatives told detectives that Jesernik had been frightened that he and Schriefer had contracted the COVID-19 virus and that Schriefer was having difficulty breathing. The relatives told investigators that Schriefer had been tested earlier in the week, but they did not believe she'd received the results. An autopsy determined that Jesernik and Schriefer tested negative for the virus, the release said.

(More coronavirus stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.