Source: Schaffhausen sisters suffered significant physical harm - KMSP-TV

Source: Schaffhausen sisters suffered significant physical harm

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Aaron Schaffhausen, 34 Aaron Schaffhausen, 34

A source has told FOX 9 News that the three sisters who were found dead inside their River Falls home suffered serious physical harm.

Investigators found the fireplace on inside the home, along with an odor of gas and flammable liquid in the basement, but those are not believed to have killed the three young girls. 

Aaron Schaffhausen, 34, is expected to be charged on Thursday in connection with his daughters' slayings.

Police say the girls' mother got a call from Schaffhausen on Tuesday, asking to see the girls. He came to the home, and the babysitter left. Later, he called his ex-wife to say he had hurt their children.

"The call came to the River Falls Police Department from mom that dad had contacted her and said he harmed the children," said River Falls Police Chief Roger Leque.

As police were gearing up to search for Schaffhausen, he turned himself into the police station -- but he wasn't very talkative.

"The demeanor of the individual was, from my observation, not saying much of anything," Leque said.

Police have not said whether or not Schaffhausen has made a confession in the killings, but previous claims of harassment and threats have begun to surface.

FOX 9 News dug through documents and found that Aaron Schaffhausen and his wife, Jessica, divorced in January. The papers were filed 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 March incident refers to a phone call made by Aaron Schaffhausen as he was living in Minot, North Dakota; however, The Minot Police Department's report shows that the threats were made against his wife, not the kids. No charges were ever filed.

Officers in Minot told FOX 9 News they spoke with Schaffhausen, who said he had no intention of going back to Wisconsin.

At this point, it's still unclear what changed between March and July; however, what is clear is that the crime scene was horrific.

"I can tell you, I've been in River Falls for over 34 years and certainly, this is the worst we've seen," said Leque.

The community is reeling from the killings, and grief counselors have been made available to students of Greenwood Elementary School, where 11-year-old Amara and 8-year-old Sophie were supposed to be joined by 5-year-old Cecilia Lee this fall.

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