The bodies of three children and their mother were recovered from a lake north of St. Paul, Minnesota. Authorities said they are now conducting a homicide investigation.
On Friday, around 10:30 am local time, police were informed of a reported suicide in the town of Maplewood, a city west of St. Paul. An adult male was found dead at the scene, Maplewood Police Lt. Joe Steiner said at an afternoon news conference. He was identified as the father of the three children, reports the Associated Press.
The exact cause of death was not disclosed and Steiner said it remains under investigation.
At about 4 p.m., police responded to Vadnais Lake with information of a possible murder-suicide, Steiner said. Authorities began searching the lake for three children and a woman. Steiner said the lake’s response was “related to” the earlier incident, but did not specify.
Ramsay County Sheriff Bob Fletcher confirmed late Friday that a child’s body had been found. The other was discovered overnight on Friday, and the third child and the mother were found on Saturday. Authorities said during a news conference Saturday that the children, two boys and one girl, were all toddlers.
The medical examiner will perform autopsies on the bodies to determine the causes of death, authorities said Saturday.
The children’s shoes were found in the lake, Fletcher said. Steiner said the mother’s vehicle was also recovered at the scene, along with other items leading authorities to believe they may be in the area.
If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).