By Jane Nambi
Police revealed that Aaron Schaffhausen, 34, asked the mother of his children to visit his daughters and later on called her to inform her he had hurt the girls in their home in the River Falls.
According to the city administrator, Scot Simpson, Aaron is being held at police on suspicion of first degree intentional homicide.
The bodies of the three children were found after their mother called police to inform them about Aaron’s remarks. The dead are 11-year-old Amara Schaffhausen, 8-year-old Sophie Schaffhausen and 5-year-old Cecilia Schaffhausen.
Cause of death has not yet been determined although police is still investigating on how the girls died and what led to their deaths. “It’s certainly the worst that we’ve seen,” police River Falls Police Chief Roger Leque said of the crime.
Claims of harassment and threats have surfaced in which it is believed that Aaron harassed and threatened his ex-wife, Jessica with whom they divorced in January.
Aaron and Jessica, filed the divorce papers jointly, but there are a few signs that the dissolution of the marriage didn’t spell the end of trouble for the couple. “River Falls police records indicate there was a domestic incident in August 2009 at the Morningside residence, and a March 2012 harassment incident where the father allegedly threatened to harm at least one of the children,” Leque confirmed
The couple was awarded joint legal custody of the girls, but Jessica had primary physical custody and had control over health care, education and other decisions.
Leque revealed in a news conference yesterday that Schaffhausen lived in Minot, N.D.
Jessica wasn’t home when she agreed her ex-husband to visit their daughters the River Falls home which the girls shared with their mother. Upon arrival, girls’ baby sitter left, Leque said. Later on, Schaffhausen called his ex-wife and told her he had “harmed” the children, as Leque put it. She immediately called police as she drove home.
When police arrived, they found the gas fireplace on the home’s first floor turned on, and smelled what Leque described as a flammable liquid in the basement. It’s unclear what role, if any, the liquid may have played in the deaths.
A source revealed that the girls had suffered serious physical harm. He turned himself in Tuesday afternoon after the girls’ bodies were found but his demeanor was described as “non-talkative.”
The house is located in a newer subdivision on the east side of River Falls, a city of 15,000 about 30 miles east of Minneapolis-St. Paul. On Wednesday morning, police had blocked off the streets surrounding the house with tape and barricades.