The bodies of three young children and their tattoo-artist mother were retrieved Saturday from a Minnesota lake in a family tragedy that unfolded after the children’s father committed suicide, officials said.
As the Star Tribune reports, three children – two boys and a girl under the age of 5 – and their mother were found at Lake Vadnais near St. The police is investigating this horrific incident as a murder.
Authorities had yet to release a name, but family and friends of the deceased told the Daily Mail that the mother was Molly Cheung, a 23-year-old local tattoo and beauty artist.
A man, believed to be the father of the children, allegedly shot himself at a home in Maplewood and was found dead around 10:30 a.m. Friday by officers.
Maplewood Police said investigating his death, information from family members prompted officers to investigate a possible murder-suicide at Wadnais Lake around 4 p.m.
Local police were able to use Cheng’s cell phone to track down his car near the lake. They also uncovered children’s shoes on the banks of the lake.
Ramsay County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told CBS News: “We’re looking at this as a possible triple-murder here at Wadnais Lake.”
According to the Daily Mail, a man who identified himself as the father’s sister shared the news of his brother’s death on Facebook – as well as the fear of his children dying. The postings came on Friday ahead of the discovery of the children’s remains.
“Goodbye forever my best brother,” wrote Pa Lee, who “abused” her brother.
“Why are you making me so mad and sad all at once. I’m so sorry I’m 20 minutes late and can’t help you.”
She continued: “I drive so fast to help you and stop you but I still failed. I’m sorry I failed you in this life and I’m late to help you. If I speed up Only then would you be alive.”
The identities of the children and their parents have not been made public by the authorities.