Four bodies pulled from Vadnais Lake in 'likely triple homicide'

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Searchers on Saturday recovered the last of four bodies they believed were drowned in a Ramsey County lake in what authorities are calling a “likely triple homicide.”

A Star Tribune photographer witnessed teams recover the third and fourth bodies Saturday morning. Authorities began searching Friday afternoon for a missing mother with three children, and searchers found one child’s body later in the evening at Vadnais Lake in Vadnais Heights. The second body was recovered earlier Saturday.

On Friday morning around 10:30 a.m., police in Maplewood responded to a mobile home court on the report of the suicide of an adult male. That in turn led to a search by authorities for a woman, reported to be suicidal, and her three children.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher called it a “likely triple homicide” on Friday night. He said he believed all three children were under the age of five.

“There’s nothing more tragic than the loss of young children,” Fletcher said. Authorities on the scene said they would release further details at a media briefing at noon on Saturday.

Authorities have not yet released the names of any of the individuals involved. Maplewood Police Lt. Joe Steiner said Friday night that family members had been notified, and some were apparently on hand at Vadnais Lake Friday night watching the search.

Vadnais Lake is on the west side of the Ramsey County suburb of Vadnais Heights, about 10 miles north of downtown St. Paul.

Authorities from multiple agencies were involved in the search Friday night.

The woman’s car was found near the lake around 4 p.m., Steiner said.

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