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Bodies of 3 kids, woman found in US lake

VADNAIS HEIGHTS, MINNESOTA (AP) – The bodies of three young children and a woman believed to be their mother have been recovered from a Minnesota lake, and authorities said 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 five, were two boys and a girl.

The chain of events began on 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 Lieutenant Joe Steiner said the woman’s car was found near Vadnais Lake around 4pm on 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 7.30pm on Friday. The second child’s body was found just after midnight. The woman’s body was found around 10.40am on Saturday, and the body of the third child was found around 11am. 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.

Teams in dry suits and Ramsey County Sheriff’s deputies search for the bodies of a mother and her three children at Vadnais Lake. PHOTO: AP