Bodies of 3 missing kids, woman found in Minnesota lake

Friends and family gathered at Vadnais Lake after news of a dead child being pulled out of the lake broke, Friday in Vadnais Heights, Minn. The bodies of two young children have been recovered from the Minnesota lake, and searchers are still looking for a third they fear may have been intentionally drowned.

Friends and family gathered at Vadnais Lake after news of a dead child being pulled out of the lake broke, Friday in Vadnais Heights, Minn. The bodies of two young children have been recovered from the Minnesota lake, and searchers are still looking for a third they fear may have been intentionally drowned. (Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via AP)


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VADNAIS HEIGHTS, Minn. — 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. EDT 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.

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