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River Falls school officials identify three dead sisters

School officials in River Falls have identified three sisters who were apparently murdered in their mother's home yesterday.

Amara Schaffhausen was going to enter sixth grade this fall at Greenwood Elementary. His sister Sophie was planning to start the third grade. Cecilia Schaffhausen was going to start kindergarten.

According to authorities, their mother called police after having a conversation with her ex-husband that raised concerns about the children's safety.

Police found all three dead in a home which had a natural gas odor. Officials have not said how they died. Their father, 34-year-old Aaron Schaffhausen, turned himself in to police.

St. Croix County jail staffers said Schaffhauser was booked late Tuesday night for first-degree intentional homicide. Prosecutors were still said to be considering possible charges on Wednesday.

State court records show that Aaron and Jessica Schaffhausen filed for divorce last summer, and it was granted in January. Aaron's address at that time was listed as Minot, N.D. The couple was given joint legal custody of their children.

The mother is reported to be OK physically. She's been helping authorities with their investigation.

Greenwood Elementary told parents that a crisis team has been set up. They'll be available Wednesday afternoon and at midday Thursday.

A makeshift memorial is being set up in the school's front courtyard. The school says people are welcome to add to it.

The mother of one of the victims' friends, Julie Matzke, has set up a Facebook page to honor the youngsters. She's setting up a vigil Wednesday night starting at 7 p.m. at Glen Park in River Falls.