Five family members, including three children, were found dead in their lakeside home in an upscale western Minneapolis suburb on Thursday in what police said appeared to be a murder-suicide.

South Lake Minnetonka police went to check on the family at 12:21 p.m. after no one was seen or heard from in days, Interim Chief Mike Siitari told The Associated Press. Siitari wouldn't release any information on how the family members died but said there appeared to be "no threat or danger to the community."

The children had not been in school for the past two days, Siitari said. The request to check on the family came from a co-worker of the father, he said.

Identities of the victims were not released, and the chief wouldn't release the children's ages or genders.

Siitari said the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office was processing a "complex crime scene."

"Obviously it's an extremely tragic event and it's going to take some time to sort through," he said.

Aerial footage from KSTP-TV showed an upscale home in Greenwood, a village of about 700 people on the shore of Lake Minnetonka, about 20 miles west of Minneapolis. At the scene, police officers had sealed off Channel Drive, a wooded cul de sac leading toward St. Alban's Bay on the lake. A sign at the entrance to the cul de sac read "Children playing." The family's house wasn't visible beyond the police line.

Hennepin County property databases list the house as registered to Brian and Karen Short. Brian Short is the founder of AllNurses.com, a resource portal for nurses. An online biography at the site said Short lived outside Minneapolis with his wife and three children.

The biography describes Short as a one-time nursing student and entrepreneur who built and launched the website in the late 1990s when he couldn't find nursing-related information online.

A man who answered the phone at AllNurses.com declined to comment Thursday and hung up.

Greenwood Mayor Debra Kind said she did not know the family who lived in the home but called it "very upsetting news."

"I hope that people who have suicidal thoughts get help, because this is a tragedy that is not necessary," she said.