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.
The body of the children's father was found at a different location hours earlier.
Names had not been released as of Saturday afternoon US-time. 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.
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Maplewood Police Lieutenant Joe Steiner said the woman's car was found near Vadnais Lake about 4pm 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 about 7.30pm Friday. The second child's body was found just after midnight. The bodies of the third child and the woman were found about 10.30am 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.