The father of three young girls whose bodies were found in their beds with their throats cut has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in America.
Aaron Schaffhausen, 34, of Minot in North Dakota, turned himself in to police after authorities found the girls in their own beds, covered by blankets up to their necklines.
The girls - Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5 - had died from "sharp force injuries" to their necks, according to an autopsy report prepared by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office.
"Their throats were slit," said District Attorney Eric Johnson at a press conference, according to the Hudson Star-Observer.
"I have been a prosecutor for 30 years and this is the worst case I’ve seen."
Schaffhausen faced the St Croix County Circuit Court on Thursday where Mr Johnson asked for a \$2 million (£1.3m) cash bail.
Judge Howard Cameron adjourned the case until July 24, when a preliminary bail hearing is scheduled to be held.
Police had been called to the girls’ house in River Falls, Wisconsin, about 3:35pm local time on Tuesday after Jessica Schaffhausen - Schaffhausen’s ex-wife - rang police and said Mr Schaffhausen had told her that he’d hurt the couple’s children.
Police then discovered the girls’ bodies lying in their own beds.
Earlier in the day, Schaffhausen had contacted Ms Schaffhausen and asked if he could stop by her house to spend some time with his daughters.
She was not home at the time, but agreed to allow the visit.
Schaffhausen allegedly arrived at the house, relieved the girls’ babysitter, and then later rang Ms Schaffhausen to say he had “harmed” the couple’s daughters, Fox News reported.
Schaffhausen is facing three mandatory life sentences in relation to the killings.
He remains in custody in the St Croix County Jail.