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Bodies of 3 missing kids, woman found in Minnesota lake

  • STAR TRIBUNE / AP
                                Teams in dry suits and Ramsey County Sheriff’s deputies search for the bodies of a mother and her three children at Vadnais Lake, Saturday, in Vadnais Heights, Minn. The father of the children died at a different location hours earlier.

    STAR TRIBUNE / AP

    Teams in dry suits and Ramsey County Sheriff’s deputies search for the bodies of a mother and her three children at Vadnais Lake, Saturday, in Vadnais Heights, Minn. The father of the children died at a different location hours earlier.

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 homicide.

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. 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 bodies of the third child and the woman were found around 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

The bodies were taken to a medical examiner.

“There’s nothing more tragic than the loss of young children,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said at a news conference on Friday. He said he considered the deaths homicides.

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