A horrifying family tragedy happened in Minnesota on Friday, with police reporting a father of an apparent suicide was found dead before the bodies of a mother and her three children were found in a lake.
Authorities from a number of law enforcement and rescue agencies worked throughout the night to recover all four bodies, Undersheriff Mike Martin of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office said in a news conference Saturday.
The tragedy leaves a total of five dead, Martin said, including the parents, a boy and two girls. None of the victims were identified, and the bodies were found at different times.
“A terrible set of facts seems to be unfolding,” Sheriff Bob Fletcher told reporters.
The first body was found at an RV park around 10:30 a.m. Friday after reports of a suicide in Maplewood, Minnesota. Although he did not specify the reason, Martin said officers had begun an eager search for the man’s children and their mother.
The sheriff’s office was called to help with the search, which led deputies to Lake Vadnais at 4pm Friday afternoon by tracing the mother’s phone.
Upon arrival, MPs took to the water from above in sonar-equipped boats — both their own and those from neighboring agencies — as well as in helicopters with searchlights, Martin said.
The first body – one of the children – was found around 7:30 p.m. Friday on the east side of the lake.
The body of the next child will not be found until after midnight, Martin said. Then, with the sunlight back on their side, authorities recovered the mother’s body at 10:40 a.m. Saturday and the third child just 20 minutes later.
“Our hearts go out to the families involved here and their friends,” said Martin. “Our goal was to find the children and the mother and bring them back to their families and we’re glad we were able to do that.”
Lake Vadnais, which does not allow pleasure boats, has a total area of almost 400 hectares. Martin said the bodies were found in separate areas because of sea currents.
Local TV station WCCO reported that the mother’s car and shoes belonging to her and the children – all under the age of five – were found near the lake.
Authorities on Saturday had not released any further details about the father’s death, which Fletcher described as a “probable triple homicide” at the lake.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/minnesota-police-search-vadnais-lake-for-mom-and-3-kids-in-homicide-probe?source=articles&via=rss Minnesota police find the bodies of mother and three children just hours after father’s apparent suicide