The bodies of a man and two children who had been tied together washed ashore Saturday from Lake Michigan (search), police said.

The three were fully clothed and had been in the water for at least several days, police Chief Brian J. Wagner said in a news release.

A resident had reported seeing the bodies on the shore about 11 a.m.

The victims' identities and the gender of the children were not yet known, police said. Authorities were checking with the Coast Guard and other agencies for missing persons reports.

Autopsies were to be performed by the Kenosha County (search) Medical Examiner.

There were no reports of missing people or boats on Lake Michigan in the past three weeks, and a Coast Guard helicopter didn't spot any empty vessels Saturday, said Anthony Riley, petty officer with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Pleasant Prairie (search) Fire Chief Paul Guilbert Jr. said it is possible the three had tied themselves together.

"If you were in a boating accident, the adult would tie the children to the adult, so they would not get away from the adult," he said.

Pleasant Prairie is in the southeast corner of Wisconsin, just north of the Illinois state line.