Three people are dead in what police are calling a murder-suicide in a small northern Wisconsin town.

A family member visiting a home in Ashland discovered the bodies shortly after noon on Thursday, The Daily Press newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/1U7uoTc ).

Police Capt. Jim Gregoire told the newspaper that officers responded and found a man with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Officers also discovered in the home two women dead of gunshot wounds. The weapon investigators believed was used in the shootings was found next to the dead man.

Authorities have withheld the dead people's names pending notification of family. Gregoire told the paper that process could take days. One of the women is from overseas, and the department will have to go through federal agencies to reach her family. Those agencies are closed for the Christmas weekend, he said.

Gregoire said there was no indication of what could have led up to the shootings. No one left any messages behind, he said.

"We are doing our investigation right now, and we will do our darndest to figure that out," he said.

Gregoire didn't immediately return a voicemail The Associated Press left on his office phone Thursday evening seeking more information. An Ashland County Sheriff's Department dispatcher said the police department's spokesperson had left for the weekend and wouldn't return until Monday.

Ashland, a city of about 8,000 people, lies about 300 miles northwest of Madison on the shores of Lake Superior.

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Information from: The Daily Press, http://www.ashlandwi.com