Child’s body is pulled from Vadnais Lake; two more sought

Authorities in Vadnais Heights pulled one child’s body out of a local lake Friday night while continuing to search for the body of two other children and their mother.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher called the situation unfolding at Vadnais Lake a “likely triple homicide.” He said at a news conference that teams of searchers would “continue to look for the other two children well into the dark.” All were apparently under the age of 5, Fletcher said.

“There’s nothing more tragic than the loss of young children,” Fletcher said.

Authorities responded to the lake earlier on a report that a suicidal woman was headed to the area with her children. A search of the water uncovered the body of the child, who was pronounced dead a short time later.

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

In a brief interview, Lt. Joe Steiner with the Maplewood Police Department said officers responded about 10:30 am Friday to a suicide at a mobile home park, where they determined that the female partner of the victim had left with their children. That’s what launched the search initially, he said.

The woman’s car was found near the lake around 4 pm, Steiner said. He said authorities continue to view the search as a rescue/recovery operation. He said family members are aware of the situation but that none of the names of individuals involved are being released yet.

Fletcher said authorities “don’t know for a certainty” whether the woman’s body is in the lake.

“We don’t know if it’s a triple homicide followed by a suicide or if she got picked up by another party and fled,” Fletcher said.

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