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The body of one child was recovered from a Minnesota lake Friday as officials continued to search the area for two more children and their mother, officials said.
The rescue and recovery operation continued into the night at a lake outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, where multiple agencies were searching after first responding to a call of a suicide earlier in the day, Maplewood police said.
A man, thought to be the father of the children, was found dead at a home about 10:30 a.m. when Maplewood police and fire responded there to a report of a suicide, Lt. Joe Steiner said.
As they investigated the man’s death, information from family members led police to Vadnais Lake around 4 p.m. for a potential murder-suicide, Steiner said.
Authorities found a vehicle and other items connected to the family at the lake, leading authorities to believe they are still in the area, he said.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said they were treating the case at the lake as a “potential triple-homicide.” He called it a tragedy and a travesty.
“Obviously, a horrible set of facts appears to be developing,” Fletcher told reporters Friday night.
The three children are all thought to be under 5, and the mother’s location is not known, he said.
A dive team, fire and EMS, cadaver dogs as well as other resources were on scene to assist with the search.
Vadnais Lake is located in Vadnais Heights, about 7 miles north of St. Paul and 9 miles northwest of Maplewood.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.