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VADNAIS HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — The bodies of three young children and a woman believed to be their mother have been recovered from a Minnesota lake, and authorities say the deaths are being investigated as a triple murder-suicide.
Meanwhile, the body of the children’s father was found at a different location hours earlier. Names had not been released as of Saturday afternoon. The children, all under the age of 5, were two boys and a girl.
The chain of events began Friday morning when the man’s body was found at a mobile home park in the town of Maplewood, near Minneapolis. Police determined that the woman had left with the children, and a search began.
Maplewood Police Lt. Joe Steiner said the woman’s car was found near Vadnais Lake around 4 p.m. Friday. The shoes of the children were found on the shore.
The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office said the body of the first child was recovered from the lake around 7:30 p.m. Friday. The second child’s body was found just after midnight. The woman’s body was found around 10:40 a.m. Saturday, and the body of the third child was found around 11 a.m.
The bodies were taken to a medical examiner.
“The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating this incident as a possible triple murder-suicide,” a news release said.
“There’s nothing more tragic than the loss of young children,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said at a news conference on Friday.