RIVER FALLS (WKOW) -- New details have been released about the investigation into a triple murder in River Falls as a North Dakota man is charged in his daughters' deaths.
Aaron Schaffhausen was charged with three counts of murder on Thursday. A St. Croix County judge set bond at $2 million.
This comes two days after the bodies of Schaffhausen's three daughters, 11-year-old Amara , 8-year-old Sophie, and 5-year-old Cecilia were found in their River Falls home on Tuesday afternoon.
According to the criminal complaint, Aaron lives in Minot, North Dakota and was supposed to be there working on a construction job. Late Tuesday morning, he texted his ex-wife Jessica, saying that he was in St. Paul and wanted to come to River Falls to spend the day with the children. Officials say Jessica told him that would be fine, but that he had to leave the house by 3:30 p.m. because she didn't want to see him.
Investigators say a babysitter texted Jessica at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to let her know that Aaron had arrived. The babysitter told investigators that the girls rushed to the door, excited to see their father. She asked Jessica if she should stay or leave and Jessica told her she could go.
Officials say Jessica received a phone call from Aaron at 3:30 p.m. telling her to go home because he had killed the kids.
Authorities say Jessica immediately called police. When officers arrived at the home, they found all three children in separate bedrooms. Each girl had blankets covering them up to their necks. Autopsies show that Amara and Sophie died from a "sharp force injury to the right side of the neck," while Cecilia died from a sharp force injury to the neck and strangulation. Authorities say they have not found a murder weapon.
When officers arrived at the home, they say there was a strong smell of gas coming from the basement of the home. They found a gas container under the stairway. The container was tipped and gas was pouring out of it. The gas fireplace had also been turned on.
Police say Schaffhausen showed up at the police department
around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and was taken into custody.
Funeral arrangements for the girls have not been set.
At a court hearing Thursday, prosecutors asked for the bodies to be released to the family so they could make funeral arrangements. The defense attorney objected because he had just received the criminal complaint and wanted more time.
A preliminary hearing for Schaffhausen is set for July 24.
RIVER FALLS (WKOW) -- A father is charged in the killing of his three young daughters in River Falls.
Thirty-four-year-old Aaron Schaffhausen of Minot, North Dakota was charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide Thursday.
The bodies of 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia Lee Schaffhausen were discovered in the house the girls shared with their mother in River Falls on Tuesday. The Schaffhausens divorced last year.
Authorities have not released the girls' cause of death at this time.
Investigators say Aaron Schaffhausen unexpectedly visited the girls Tuesday while their mother was out, then called her to say he had harmed them. He later turned himself in to police.
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