Coronavirus: Man fatally shoots himself and his girlfriend after wrongly suspecting she had Covid-19

James Crump
A deserted Chicago, Illinois: (Scott Olson 2020 Getty Images)

A man fatally shot his girlfriend and then himself after he suspected she had contracted Covid-19.

Patrick Jesernik, from Illinois, and his partner Cheryl Schriefer, who had lived together for eight years, were found dead in their residence on Thursday.

A statement by the Will County Sheriff’s Office revealed that officers went to Mr Jesernik’s residence at around 8pm to conduct a welfare check.

After finding all the doors and windows of the property locked from the inside, the police, alongside fire personnel, forced entry into the property and found their bodies in separate rooms.

Family told officers that Mr Jesernik “had been scared that he and Cheryl had contracted the COVID-19 virus, and that Cheryl was tested two days ago,” the statement read.

Ms Schriefer had been having trouble breathing in the days leading up to the deaths, but the sheriff’s office revealed that both she and Mr Jesernik subsequently tested negative for Covid-19.

The authorities confirmed that there was no record of domestic abuse at the residence and “a check of both deceased individuals was also conducted which showed very limited police contact”.

The Sheriff’s office highlighted that the majority of calls they are receiving during the coronavirus pandemic are related to domestic abuse and crisis intervention.

They added that “as a reminder, if 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”.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, upwards of 356,942 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 10,524.

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