Suicide of husband, 27, set off tragic chain of events at Minn. lake

Mike Hughlett
Star Tribune (TNS)
Teams in dry suits and Ramsey County Sheriff's deputies search for the bodies a mother and her three children at Vadnais Lake on Saturday, July 2, 2022, in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota. Eventually all four bodies were recovered, believed to be drowned in what Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher called a "likely triple homicide."  (Anthony Souffle/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

MINNEAPOLIS — After her husband died by suicide Friday at their Maplewood, Minnesota, home, Molly Cheng drove her three young children to Vadnais-Sucker Lake Regional Park.

The bodies of all four were recovered from Vadnais Lake by Saturday morning; law enforcement suspects their deaths were a murder-suicide. All three children were under the age of 6.

Maplewood police were called Friday morning to the mobile home of Cheng, 23, and her husband, Yee Lee, said Ramsey County Undersheriff Mike Martin. Lee, 27, was dead at the scene. Their names were released Monday.

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A law enforcement source said Lee had shot himself in the head. Cheng, who was on the premises, called 911 to report the incident. Later in the day, police put an "attempt-to-locate" notice on Cheng, who was reported to be suicidal.

Maplewood police tracked Cheng's cell phone to Vadnais-Sucker Lake Regional Park in Vadnais Heights at about 4 p.m. Friday. Law enforcement found her car abandoned, and her children's shoes lined up near Vadnais Lake.

The bodies of her two sons were recovered from the lake Friday, one at 7:30 p.m., the other around midnight. Cheng's daughter's body was found at 11 a.m. Saturday, about 20 minutes after Cheng's body had been recovered.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner is still investigating the cause of death.