VADNAIS HEIGHTS, Minn. — Authorities have recovered the bodies of three children and a mother from Lake Vadnais, after a search began Friday night in what is believed to be a triple murder-suicide case. The three children were under six years old.
The last of the bodies was found at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Two of the children were boys and the other a girl.
The search came after Maplewood police say they received information about a potential murder-suicide around 4pm which they believe is linked to a suicide that took place around 10.30am Friday in the 1300 block of Pearson Drive.
Authorities responded to a welfare check at Lake Vadnais Regional Park, where they found a car and children’s shoes.
The crews found the first child on Friday evening around 7:30 p.m. A second child was pulled out of the water around midnight, and divers searched the area until 3 a.m. Recovery operations resumed at 6:00 a.m. and the woman’s body was found at 10:40 a.m. 11 am, the third child was pulled from the lake. The bodies were found on the east side of the lake, according to Ramsey County Deputy Sheriff Mike Martin.
“Our thoughts are with the families involved here and their friends,” he said. “Our goal was to find the children and the mother and reunite them with their families, and we’re glad we were able to do that.”
The search involved multiple state agencies, volunteer groups, a helicopter and multiple watercraft. The search and rescue team leader, Cmdr. Eric Bradt of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office said the search was one of the most difficult of his career.
“I’ve been doing this for 30 years as a cop…and it was one of the hardest,” he said.
The investigation is still active and ongoing. The bodies were taken to the medical examiner’s office for further investigation. No name has been released.
Mental health resources
If you are having suicidal thoughts, you can text the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 741741 or call 1-800-273-8255.