An autopsy found that the couple had tested negative for the virus

By Harriet Sokmensuer
April 06, 2020 04:39 PM
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Facebook; National Gun Violence Memorial

An Illinois man who fatally shot his wife and himself told his family he feared they had contracted coronavirus.

On Thursday night, Will County deputies responded to welfare check at a Lockport Township home, the sheriff’s office said in a press release obtained by PEOPLE.

Upon arrival, deputies discovered the bodies of 54-year-old Patrick Jesernik and his wife Cheryl Schriefer, 59, in separate rooms of the house.

The couple’s family told investigators that, days earlier, Jesernik had said he was worried he and his wife had contracted coronavirus. According to the family, Schriefer was tested two days before her death because she was having trouble breathing.

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The couple had yet to receive the test results, the family said.

“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 press release states, urging anyone who needs help in a domestic violence situation to call authorities to file an order of protection.

Jernik and Schriefter both died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to an autopsy conducted Friday. Their deaths were ruled a murder-suicide. The murder weapon was found beside Jesernik’s body.

The autopsy also found that the couple tested negative for coronavirus.