Aaron Schaffhausen allegedly slit daughters' throats, then called ex: "I killed the kids"
Schaffhausen's three girls were excited to see him. Less than two hours later, he killed them, police say.
Today, Aaron Schaffhausen was charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide two days after he allegedly killed his three young daughters.
A criminal complaint released by the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department provides chilling details of how the triple homicide went down.
On Tuesday afternoon, the three girls -- Amara (age 11), Sophie (8), and Cecilia (5) -- were at the River Falls home Schaffhausen owns and rents to his ex-wife, Jessica, under the supervision of a babysitter. Jessica and Aaron were divorced in January, and Aaron now lives in Minot, the complaint says.
Just before noon, Aaron texted Jessica and told her he was in St. Paul and wanted to see the girls. Jessica consented but told her ex-husband he must leave by 3:30, because she was coming home and didn't want to see him. Aaron said he'd be gone by then and headed to River Falls, where he arrived a bit before 1:30. The babysitter told police that when Aaron arrived, "the girls rushed to the door, excited to see him."
After Aaron arrived, the babysitter texted Jessica to ask whether she wanted her to stay with the girls and Aaron, but Jessica responded that said she could leave, and her mom came to pick her up.
At around 3:30, Aaron called Jessica and delivered this unimaginably horrible message: "You can come home now because I killed the kids."
Jessica immediately called police. Upon entering the home, officers smelled an odor of gas. They went upstairs and found the three girls, each placed in a different bedroom, each with a blanket covering their bodies up to their necklines. A large amount of blood covered the carpet in one of the bedrooms.
Officers then went down to the basement, where a red gasoline container had been tipped forward, allowing gas to pour out of it. The home's gas fireplace was turned on.
About an hour later, Aaron drove himself to a police station in River Falls and turned himself in. He responded to officers' questions with silence, a blood stain visible on his shorts.
An autopsy determined that each girl's cause of death was "sharp force injury to the neck and strangulation."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.
- A terrible Minneapolis park deal just got $2 million worse
Sat., Sep. 19, 12:00am
Sat., Sep. 19, 7:00pm
Sun., Sep. 20, 12:00pm
Sat., Sep. 26, 2:30pm
- Why you should never run over a kid while flying a confederate flag
- Minnesota has eighth most expensive cigarettes