Authorities recovered the bodies of three young children and their mother from a lake in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.
Police have labelled the horrific incident, which unfolded on Friday at Vadnais Lake, located north of the state capital of St Paul, as a “potential triple homicide”.
“There’s nothing more tragic than the loss of young children,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told reporters, adding that the youngsters are believed to be under the age of five.
Earlier on Friday, police responded to a mobile home in the area after a reported suicide, according to the Star Tribune. The deceased was identified as the father of the children and the partner of the mother who is still missing.
According to NBC News, family members then directed police to the lake on suspicion of a murder-suicide.
“We do not know yet where their mother is, but we’re treating this as a potential triple homicide,” Sheriff Fletcher told reporters at a press conference late on Friday. The woman’s car was discovered near the lake, as well as the children’s shoes.
On Saturday, according to the Star Tribune, all of the bodies were recovered.
Police had described their efforts as an “active rescue and recovery operation”, and dive teams have been dragging the lake in hopes of finding the other missing persons.