By Michael Martinez, CNN
(CNN) — A 34-year-old father was being held by authorities Wednesday in connection with the deaths of his three daughters, who were found inside his ex-wife’s Wisconsin home with the gas fireplace turned on, officials said.
Aaron Schaffhausen of Minot, North Dakota, is expected to be arraigned Thursday, said officials in River Falls, Wisconsin.
Formal charges are pending, and Schaffhausen is being held in the St. Croix County Jail, officials said.
Schaffhausen and his ex-wife, Jessica, divorced in January, and the three girls were in their mother’s home with a baby sitter Tuesday when the father arrived and the baby sitter left, officials said.
The mother called River Falls police Tuesday afternoon with concerns about her three daughters’ safety following statements made by the father regarding the children’s well-being, officials said in a written statement.
Police found the gas fireplace turned on and smelled the odor of an apparent flammable liquid in the basement, officials said. An officer turned the gas off in the fireplace.
In the home police found the bodies of sisters Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5.
The bodies are being examined by the nearby Ramsey County, Minnesota, medical examiner’s office, officials said, and results weren’t available Wednesday.
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