RIVER FALLS (WKOW) – A vigil was held Wednesday night for the three young sisters found dead in their home in River Falls.
The event was to honor 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia Lee Schaffhausen.
Julie Matzke's 7-year-old daughter was in Girl Scouts with one of the sisters and described the girl as an energetic, beautiful, little spirit who was taken too soon.
Matzke set up set up a vigil at Glen Park in River Falls at 7 p.m.
Matzke also set up a Facebook page in the girls' honor.
The River Falls School District has scheduled staff and counselors for two sessions open to families and students of Greenwood Elementary school community to deal with the tragedy at the Greenwood Elementary School Media Center from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 11 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, July 12. Other members of the public are not invited.
According to a news release, the family has asked Bakken-Young Funeral Home to handle arrangements on their behalf.
The family has asked that those wishing to assist the family with monetary donations make those to First National Bank of River Falls, with whom a fund is being established. To donate, you can call 715-425-2401.
RIVER FALLS (WKOW) --Three young girls are dead and their father is in custody after an apparent triple homicide in River Falls on Tuesday.
Officials said the River Falls Police Department was dispatched to the 2700 block of Morningside Avenue around 3:32 p.m. for a reported domestic situation and welfare check.
According to the River Falls Police Department, they received a call from the mother of three female children, ages 5 to 11, with concerns for their safety due to statements made from the father of the children.
Authorities said upon arrival, officers discovered the odor of gas in the home. Officers discovered the bodies of three deceased children.
Authorities have identified the three victims as:
Amara Schaffhausen, age 11
Sophie Schaffhausen, age 8
Cecilia Lee Schaffhausen, age 5
Police said no one else was present in the home.
The bodies of the victims are currently begin examined at the Ramsey County, Minnesota Medical Examiner's Office. The results of those examinations have not been released.
Authorities said the suspect, Aaron Schaffhausen is currently being held in the St. Croix County Jail and is expected to be arraigned tomorrow at 1 p.m. Formal charges are pending and will be determined by the District Attorney's office.
Officials said the River Falls Police Department took 34-year-old Aaron Schaffhausen, believed to be the father of the victims, into custody after he turned himself into the police.
Officials said the mother, Jessica Schaffhausen, has immediate family with her and police are working closely with the family to make sure their needs are met. The family would like to express their gratitude for the outpouring of support and they ask that everyone respect their privacy.
According to the press release from the River Falls Police Department, the Schaffhausen family has lived in River Falls for several years. Jessica and Aaron were divorced in January 2012. Jessica was living at the Morningside Avenue address with the three children. The father has been living in Minot, North Dakota.
Authorities said the children were at home with a babysitter until the father came to visit. At which time, the babysitter left the residence.
River Falls Police records indicate there was a domestic incident in August 2009 at the Morningside residence. There was also a March 2012 harassment incident where the father had allegedly threatened to harm at least one of the children. Those records are being reviewed for subsequent release to the media.
The incident continues to be investigated by the River Falls Police Department, St. Croix County Sheriff's Department, Pierce County Sheriff's Department, Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation and State Crime Lab.
Chief Roger Leque said, "All of us are saddened by this tragedy. At this time, there is no danger to the greater community arising out of this incident."
Officials said efforts are being made to organize support service for community members dealing with this tragedy.
RIVER FALLS (WKOW) -- Police are investigating an apparent triple homicide in River Falls, west of Eau Claire.
River Falls police say three sisters are dead, and a man, believed to be their father, is in jail.
He is 34-year-old Aaron Schaffhausen. The children were between five and 11-years-old.
Police say they went to a home in River Falls Tuesday afternoon, because the children's mother called. They say something the father said made her concerned.
When they got to the house, police found the girls dead on scene. The home also smelled of gas.
Officials have not released a cause of death for the girls.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and WKOW. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Program Manager Jessica Miller at 608-661-2794. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.