RIVER FALLS, Wisconsin (WQOW) - A family member says he knew Aaron Schaffhausen was hurting after his divorce, but he didn't realize how much.
Schaffhausen is in jail, a suspect in the deaths of his three girls. The bodies of Amara Schaffhausen, age 11, eight-year-old Sophie and five-year-old Cecilia were found in their River Falls home around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police say Schaffhausen has been living in Minot, North Dakota after he and Jessica Schaffhausen divorced. The children were at home with a babysitter on Tuesday until he came to visit. Jessica later called police saying she was concerned about the safety of her kids because of statements her ex-husband had made. When police went to the home, they discovered the bodies of the girls. There was no one else inside. Police are not saying how the girls died. Autopsies are being done.
Ethan Fix is Aaron Schaffhausen's cousin. He lived with the family two years ago and said things were good at that time. He said he last spoke with Aaron about six months ago. At the time, Aaron said he was having a very hard time. "Nobody really knew what was going on. He wanted to be left alone. Nobody really knew he was in such a dark place," said Fix.
"I don't know the details of what happened or what was going through his head, but it just hurts to know that he had planned it out and he had to have thought about it, which makes me know that he was mentally unstable and something should've been done to get him help," said Fix, who shared some memories about the young girls. "Amara was smart and she was going to be a rocket scientist some day. She had the most amazing personality and you couldn't tell she was 11 years old. She could talk to you for hours and always had something to say. Sophie was spunky and had the attitude. Cecilia was so young and just kind of tagged along with her sisters and tried to fit in. She was sweet and always happy and had a smile that would lift anybody's spirits. The girls were so sweet and they did love their father and he loved them. I just think he had a mental psychotic break and lost it."
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