April 20, 2014

New details in River Falls triple murder

Bond was set at $2 million Thursday afternoon for Aaron Schaffhausen, on charges that he killed his three young daughters at his ex-wife’s home in River Falls. The 34-year-old Schaffhausen remains in the Saint Croix County jail in Hudson after prosecutors filed three charges of first-degree intentional homicide.

District Attorney Eric Johnson says all three girls, Amara, Sophie, and Cecilia, had their throats slit with a knife or some other sharp instrument. Authorities say it happened Tuesday afternoon, after he surprised his ex-wife Jessica by asking to see the three youngsters without supervision.

Afterward, prosecutors said he called Jessica and said quote, “You can come home now, because I killed the kids.” The mother then called 911.

Officers initially said they detected an odor of gasoline, but did not mention anything about the attacks on the girls’ necks until the criminal complaint came out Thursday afternoon.

Schaffhausen is due back in court July 24th, when a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to order a trial.

The case has hit the River Falls area hard, with the city making counselors available at City Hall on Thursday for anyone who needs help coping.