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Aaron Schaffhausen Killed 3 Daughters Amara, Sophie, Cecilia

Aaron Schaffhausen Killed 3 Daughters Amara, Sophie, Cecilia
Amara, Cecilia, and Sophie Schaffhausen were
found tucked in their beds, killed by "sharp force
injuries" to the neck.
A North Dakota man murdered his three young little girls after they rushed to greet him during a surprise visit and left their bodies tucked in their beds, Wisconsin authorities said in court documents released Thursday.

St. Croix County prosecutors filed a criminal complaint charging Aaron Schaffhausen, 34, with three counts of first-degree intentional murder. Each count carries a mandatory life sentence.

Circuit Judge Howard W. Cameron set Schaffhausen's bail at $2 million Thursday and ordered him to have no contact with the girls' mother or her immediate family. Schaffhausen's attorney, listed in online court records as public defender John Kucinski, didn't immediately respond to a telephone message left at his office.

Autopsy results showed 11-year-old Amara Schaffhausen, 8-year-old Sophie Schaffhausen and 5-year-old Cecilia Schaffhausen died from "sharp force injury" to the neck. Cecilia also had been strangled, according to the complaint.

The girl's mother, Jessica Schaffhausen, and Aaron Schaffhausen separated this past January. He lived in Minot while the girls were living with their mother in River Falls, a city of 15,000 about 30 miles east of the Twin Cities, in a house she rented from her ex-husband, according to the complaint.

Detectives wrote in the complaint that Aaron Schaffhausen texted his ex-wife around noon Tuesday and asked for an unplanned visit with the girls. The mother thought he was supposed to be working a construction job in Minot but agreed, telling him to be gone by mid-afternoon because she didn't want to see him.

A Minneapolis Star Tribune report said Aaron Schaffhausen was fired from his job at a St. Paul construction firm on July 5 after he failed to show up for work. The firm had hired him to work on projects in western North Dakota, the newspaper reported. The firm's sales manager did not respond to an Associated Press email inquiry seeking details.

The girls' baby sitter told detectives the girls were so excited to see him when he arrived they rushed to him and took him upstairs to show him their things. The baby sitter followed them upstairs, hugged the girls goodbye and left, the complaint said.

About two hours later, Aaron Schaffhausen called his ex-wife.
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