An Illinois man fatally shot his partner before killing himself because he believed that they had the coronavirus, the Will County Sheriff’s Office said.
BuzzFeed News reports that a wellness check was conducted at the couple's home at around 8 p.m. on Thursday after the parents of Patrick Jesernik, 54, contacted authorities since they had not heard from him. The bodies of Jesernik, and Cheryl Schriefer, 59, were found in separate rooms "with obvious signs of trauma to their heads."
Jesernik's family informed detectives that he was scared that they had contracted COVID-19. Schriefer was tested two days prior to the incident after she was having a hard time breathing. It is believed that she never received the test results before her death. They both ultimately tested negative for the virus.
An autopsy determined that Schriefer's death was a homicide, judging from the single gunshot wound she sustained to the back of her head at close range. It was concluded that Jesernik killed himself from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Detectives said there weren't any previous calls made to their residence in regards to complaints of a domestic dispute.
"During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of service calls that Deputies have been responding to, involve domestic disputes and crisis intervention calls," the Will County Sheriff’s Office said.
The New York Post reported last month that divorce filings have skyrocketed as couples are now being forced to remain quarantined indoors, causing anxiety and tension in relationships given the lack of physical space between one another.