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Forum Communications, Published July 10 2012

Wis. father in custody in deaths of 3 children

RIVER FALLS, Wis. – About two hours after he allegedly killed his three children at the home they once shared, a former River Falls man turned himself in to police at the station here, soon after officers had begun searching for him.

Police identified the suspect as Aaron Schaffhausen, age 34. Court files indicate his last known address as 1740 13th S.E., Minot, N.D.

Schaffhausen was in police custody and was expected to be transferred to the St. Croix County Jail in Hudson later Tuesday evening.

The man's ex-wife called police at 3:30 p.m. and asked them to check the welfare of her children at 2790 Morningstar Ave. – a neighborhood of single- and multi-family homes in the Boulder Ridge III subdivision on River Falls’ east side.

Police entered the home and apparently detected the heavy smell of natural gas.

A short time later, they put out an urgent call for an ambulance for an unconscious person and asked for firefighters, presumably to ventilate the house.