ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Three children whose bodies were found in a suburban Minneapolis lake over the holiday weekend died in drownings that were classified as homicides, and their mother died of a drowning that was suicide, authorities said Tuesday as they also identified the victims.
Searchers recovered the bodies of Molly Cheng and her three children, ages 3, 4 and 5, from Vadnais Lake on Friday and Saturday. Authorities had said earlier the deaths were being investigated as a triple murder-suicide.
The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday that Cheng called police on Friday morning and said her husband, Yee Lee, had fatally shot himself. That afternoon, one of Cheng’s relatives called police to say she planned to kill her children and herself, the department said, resulting in a welfare check that eventually tracked Cheng's cell phone to the lake.
The Ramsey County medical examiner determined that the cause of 4-year-old Quadrillion Lee and 3-year-old Estella Zoo Siab Lee's deaths was drowning and smothering. Five-year-old Phoenix Lee's death was caused by drowning.