Police in River Falls, Wis. have arrested the father of three girls after the children were found dead inside a home Tuesday afternoon.
Officers were dispatched to 2790 Morningside Avenue at about 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday to conduct a welfare check after a reported domestic situation.
According to police, the mother of the three sisters -- Amara
Schaffhausen, age 11; Sophie
Schaffhausen, age 8 and Cecilia
Lee Schaffhausen, age 5 -- called officers after she became concerned for the girls' physical safety following statements made by their father.
Upon arrival at the home, officers detected an odor of gas before finding the bodies of three children. Though a positive identification has not yet been made, police say the bodies match the description given by the mother.
No one else was inside the home when officers arrived.
Police took 34-year-old Aaron Schaffhausen into custody after he turned himself in at the police department around 4:45 p.m. He was was booked on three counts of first-degree intentional homicide. Formal charges are pending and will be determined by the District Attorney's office.
River Falls Police Chief Roger Leque stressed that residents are not at risk, saying, "All of us are saddened by this tragedy. At this time, there is no danger to the greater community arising out of this incident."
Support services are being arranged for neighbors and other River Falls residents.
A vigil has been planned for 7 p.m. vigil is planned Wednesday night at Glen Park in River Falls. The vigil was organized by Julie Matzke, whose 7-year-old daughter was in Girl Scouts with one of the sisters.
The Family has asked that those wishing to assist the family with monetary donations make those to First National Bank of River Falls, whom will be handdling a fund. To contribute, contact 715-425-2401.
More information is expected Wednesday afternoon at a 2 p.m. news conference.