Minnesota woman allegedly drowned herself and her children after husband shot himself, sheriff says

The three children, aged 3, 4, and 5, were pulled from the lake near Minneapolis on Friday and Saturday

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Editor's note: This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Authorities believe that a mother drowned herself and her three children in a lake near Minneapolis after her husband shot himself on Friday, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said this week. 

The woman, Molly Cheng, called 911 on Friday morning to report that her husband, 27-year-old Yee Lee, shot himself. Social workers went to the scene to assist the family and a medical examiner later ruled his death was a suicide. 

Later that day around 4:00 p.m., one of Cheng's relatives called 911 to say that Cheng "was going to kill her children and herself," according to the sheriff's office. 

Teams in dry suits and Ramsey County Sheriff's deputies search for the bodies of a mother and her three children at Vadnais Lake, Saturday, July 2, 2022, in Vadnais Heights, Minn. 

Teams in dry suits and Ramsey County Sheriff's deputies search for the bodies of a mother and her three children at Vadnais Lake, Saturday, July 2, 2022, in Vadnais Heights, Minn.  (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)

Law enforcement tracked Cheng's cell phone to Vadnais Lake by 5:45 p.m. and found her car in a parking lot near the body of water around 6:03 p.m. 

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Authorities immediately started searching both land and water, locating multiple pairs of children's shoes and car keys on the east shore. 

Quadrillion T. Lee, 4, was pulled from the lake at 7:32 p.m. Phoenix Lee, 5, and Estella Zoo Siab Lee, 3, were recovered from the lake the next day. The medical examiner determined that they all died from drowning and the manner of death was homicide. 

Cheng's body was also pulled from the lake on Saturday and her manner of death was determined to be a suicide. 

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"Our hearts go out the family, friends, and community impacted by this terrible tragedy," Ramsey County Undersheriff Mike Martin said in a statement.  

"The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the circumstances of this incident to provide clarity and closure to the surviving family members."