The search for a mother and her three children has ended after authorities recovered their bodies from a lake in Minnesota following a rescue and recovery operation, and authorities say the deaths are being investigated as a potential triple murder-suicide.
The body of the children’s father was found at a different location hours earlier.
Police are investigating what happened, amid suspicions of a potential murder-suicide, according to Maplewood police.
Emergency services searched for hours at Vadnais Lake near Minneapolis in the US, beginning on Friday around 4pm, police said.
The chain of events began earlier that morning when the man’s body was found at a mobile home park in the town of Maplewood.
Police determined that the woman had left with the children and found her car near the lake.
The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office said the body of the first child was recovered from the lake at around 7.30pm on Friday.
The second child’s body was found just after midnight.
The bodies of the third child and the woman were found at around 10.30am on Saturday.
The children – two boys and a girl – were all under the age of five.
Ramsey County Undersheriff Mike Martin said in a press conference Saturday afternoon that all of the remains are being taken to the medical examiner’s office, which will be releasing information on causes of death, NBC reported.
“There’s nothing more tragic than the loss of young children,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said on Friday.
He added that officials were treating the case at the lake as a “potential triple-homicide.”
“That has not changed,” Martin said on Saturday.